E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Labidochirus splendescens (Owen, 1839)
Splendid Hermit
Family: Paguridae

Species account author: Josephine Hart.
Extracted from Crabs and their relatives of British Columbia.
Photo of species

© Aaron Baldwin  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #4139)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Labidochirus splendescens in British Columbia
Details about map content are available here.

Species Information

Carapace calcified throughout; shield wider than long, with a distinct rostrum and with some spiny ridges and spines dorsally, and sharp teeth laterally. Posterior part of carapace with scattered spines and ridges; mid-lateral margins of carapace serrate. Eyestalk short; large cornea spherical. Right cheliped slender and slightly longer than left and shorter than walking legs; setose with some marginal and dorsal spines as well as spined scales. Left cheliped similar but more slender with proportionately longer fingers. Walking legs setose, with marginal spines and spined scales on lateral faces; merus wide and laterally compressed; dactyl slender and slightly longer than propodus, with stiff setae on dorsal margin and small movable spines ventrally. 5th pereiopod (last walking leg) without the usual strong rasp of setae found in most hermit crabs. Abdomen small with vestigial or no pleopods in the male.


Shield length: male 18 mm.


Shield with narrow white margins anteriorly and cream with brown reticulations; posteriorly red, yellow-brown and white. Chelipeds with bronze iridescence; ischium red and purplish red; merus with yellow, brown and purple patches and a distal purplish band with white-tipped spines; carpus red with brown spines; hand amethyst, with light-tipped purple-red spines; fixed finger deep purple with white tips and teeth; dactyl pink with red-purple stripe and white teeth. Walking legs with bronze or red-green iridescence; ischium etched in red with purple stripe; merus red, yellow and white with purplish spines; carpus red purple; propodus with stripes of purple, dark red and light with some fine yellow spots; dactyl violet, red and white; claw pale yellow. Eyestalk brown; cornea black with a film of white and red chromatophores. Antennal flagellum yellowish.


Mud and sand. Inhabit small shells which barely cover the small abdomen and often are covered with hydractinia. An active species.



Sea of Japan, Arctic Ocean, Chukchi and Bering seas, and Alaska to Puget Sound, Washington; from 16 to 412 m.
Distribution In British Columbia

Widespread but not abundant.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-02-22 8:19:53 PM]
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© E-Fauna BC 2021: An initiative of the Spatial Data Lab, Department of Geography, UBC