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

Pagurus hemphilli (Benedict, 1892)
Maroon 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 #2156)

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

Species Information

Carapace: shield distinctly longer than wide. Eyestalk long and slender, cornea slightly dilated. Right cheliped much larger than left, finely granulate with some teeth on distal margins of merus and carpus; carpus laterally compressed and inflated ventrally; hand, oval with a beading of granules on the margins; left hand much smaller than right and laterally compressed. 1st and 2nd walking legs subequal in length to right cheliped, stout and serrate on dorsal margins of carpus and propodus.


Shield length: male 9.8 mm.


Carapace: shield greenish brown; rest purple and blue with white dots. Abdomen pale purple, blue, pink and white. Right cheliped red and dark purple-red; hand dark greenish brown with pale blue granules; fingers red with blue granules; tips of fingers yellow and teeth white. Left cheliped similar but hand red and finger tips scarlet and yellow. Walking legs dark red with blue-white granules, distal half of dactyl orange and scarlet with dark brown claw. Eyestalk brown to cream; cornea black with gold semicircles. Antennal flagellum scarlet. Juveniles without the deep red colour and walking legs white with varying amounts of red proximally but dactyls have orange tips.


Low intertidal and subtidal on open coast among seaweed covered rocks.



Klokachef Island (57°25’N, 135°52’W), Alaska, to south of San Miguel Island, California (34°01’N, 120°24’W); intertidal to 50 m.
Distribution In British Columbia

Only on open coasts.

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: 2022-05-18 10:46:06 PM]
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© E-Fauna BC 2021: An initiative of the Spatial Data Lab, Department of Geography, UBC