The Great Hermit Crab Migration – Smithsonian Ocean Portal Blog Post

The Great Hermit Crab Migration – Smithsonian Ocean Portal Blog Post

Over the last few days, a video of hermit crabs stampeding across the rocky shores of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands has taken the internet by storm. Where are the hermit crabs going, and why?

These hermit crabs are Coenobita clypeatus, the Caribbean hermit crab (also known as the soldier crab), which are native to islands throughout the Caribbean region. I typically think of hermit crabs as a marine phenomenon, but the adults of this species live in wet inland areas, hiding between tree roots or in caves. They mostly eat iguana poop (from Cyclura stejnegeri), although they can also climb up tree trunks to snack on soft wood.

And every summer, thousands of these hermit crabs migrate from the woods to the sea to release their eggs.

Read more: The Great Hermit Crab Migration – Smithsonian Ocean Portal

Photo: Island Conservation