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

Pagurus beringanus (Benedict, 1892)
Bering Hermit Crab
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 #2152)

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

Species Information

Carapace: shield subequal in length and width. Eyestalk long and slender. Right cheliped long and stout, slightly shorter than walking legs; merus with upper surface convex, some linear striations, large distal marginal teeth dorsally and 2 large knobs ventrally; carpus long, convex with rows of large granules and spines; hand convex with ridges and many granules, spines and serrate margins. Left cheliped much smaller. 1st and 2nd walking legs stout and setose; merus laterally compressed.


Shield length: male 15.5 mm.


Carapace: shield pale grey with marbling of dark grey, red yellow and tan with red dots and front margins scarlet; posterior carapace and abdomen marbled with grey, brown and purple, red and white dots. Chelipeds: ischium white and orange; merus greenish brown, with red striae and a scarlet band on distal margin, ventrally white, blue and yellow with orange knobs; carpus greenish-brown with orange spines and tubercles; hand greenish-brown fading to white on fingers, sharp granules with white tips, scarlet at base and tips of fingers with corneous tips brown and teeth white. 1st and 2nd walking legs: ischium grey with red and opaque white patches; merus pale greenish brown with red spots and distal bands of red and scarlet; carpus and propodus grey green to white with dark red spots, scarlet patch terminally on propodus; dactyl with 2 dark red bands separated by white, with red dots; claw dark . Eyestalk translucent with red laterally. Juveniles and small individuals not as highly coloured as adults with white, pale green, and grey and orange granules and red or yellow bands on merus of chelipeds and on propodus of walking legs.


In rocky areas intertidally where water is cold and, subtidally, where temperatures are higher. Prefers a large, heavy shell within which the animal can withdraw completely. Tends to congregate in large numbers in shaded rock crevices at low tide.



Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, Alaska, to Monterey, California; intertidal to 364 m.
Distribution In British Columbia

Common intertidally in cold-water areas such as the Juan de Fuca Strait, but not so in the warmer waters of the Strait of Georgia.

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: 2024-07-15 6:31:34 AM]
Disclaimer: The information contained in an E-Fauna BC atlas pages is derived from expert sources as cited (with permission) in each section. This information is scientifically based.  E-Fauna BC also acts as a portal to other sites via deep links.  As always, users should refer to the original sources for complete information.  E-Fauna BC is not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of the original information.

© E-Fauna BC 2021: An initiative of the Spatial Data Lab, Department of Geography, UBC