Pagurus quaylei Hart, 1971

Common name(s): Quayle's hermit crab

Phylum Arthropoda
 Subphylum Crustacea
  Class Malacostraca
   Subclass Eumalacostraca
    Superorder Eucarida
     Order Decapoda
      Suborder Pleocyemata
       Infraorder Anomura
        Family Paguridae
Pagurus quaylei captured at 25 m depth by dredge off Japonski Island, Sitka, Alaska.  Carapace width 2.7 mm.
Shell is a small Amphissa columbiana.  This individual is a brooding female with 140-160 early stage embryos attached (photo).
(Photo and identification by: Aaron Baldwin, 2007)
Description:  This subtidal limpet has only the shield of its carapace calcified, the carpus of the right cheliped, which is stout but shorter than the walking legs, is longer than wide (photo), the dactyls of legs 2 and 3 are not twisted, the dorsal surface of the palm (propodus) of the left chela has no prominent ridge, crest, or cancavity, the ventral surface of the merus of the right cheliped has no prominent tubercles, and the dactyl of the left chela is bowed to the extent that there is a clear gap between the propodus and dactyl when the claw is closed (photo), and the eyescales have 2-5 spines each.

How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Several other subtidal species such as P. stevensae have no prominent tubercles on the ventral surface of the merus of the right cheliped, but none of them (except some small P. kennerlyi) have the dactyl of the left chela so bowed that there is a gap between it and the propodus when the claw is closed.

Geographical Range:

Depth Range: Subtidal.  The individual above was at 25 m depth.

Habitat:  The individual above was on a cobble/shell bottom.

Biology/Natural History: Little is known of this species.

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Dichotomous Keys:
  Hart, 1982
  Kozloff 1987, 1996
  Smith and Carlton, 1975
  Wicksten, 2009

General References:

Scientific Articles:
  Abrams, Peter, Carl Nyblade, and Sallie Sheldon, 1986.  Resource partitioning and competition for shells in a subtidal hermit crab species assemblage.  Oecologia 69:3 pp. 429-445

  Hart 1971, J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 28(10):1537.

  Walker, Sally E., 1989.  Hermit crabs as taphonomic agents.  Palaios 4:5 pp. 439-452

General Notes and Observations:  Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors:

A closeup of the anterior head and eyes.
Photo by Aaron Baldwin, 2007

In this view one can see that the carpus of the right cheliped is longer than wide, and the propodus and dactyl of the left cheliped have a gap between them.
Photo by Aaron Baldwin, 2007

The female was carrying 140-160 early stage embryos
Photo by Aaron Baldwin, 2007

Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2007):  Created original page using photos taken by Aaron Baldwin in Sitka, Alaska.