Hermit crabs are becoming more and more popular as pets because they have a lovely form and the shells that serve as inns can be changed to the owner’s taste. It’s a creature that you often see when you swim in the sea or take a walk along the water, but can you immediately think of what’s inside the shell? The Twitter post of “Susami Municipal Shrimp and Crab Aquarium” (Nishimuro-gun, Wakayama Prefecture), which tells us the actual situation, has become a hot topic. We interviewed Masaki Honda of the museum about the elaborate exhibits and the ecology of hermit crabs.
◇ ◇ ◇
The inside of the shell is clear at a glance. The Twitter post said, “I’m glad I was able to see it.”
“Susami Municipal Shrimp and Crab Aquarium” is a rare aquarium attached to the roadside station. We are exhibiting 1000 items of about 150 species, mainly crustaceans such as shrimp and crabs that live in the sea near the Kii Peninsula.
Of particular note is the Monodonta confusa hermit crab, whose body is housed in a transparent glass shell. The body length is about 5 cm. Because of its appearance, the museum is nicknamed “Crystal Hermit Crab”. Approximately 200 hermit crabs are bred in the museum, but it is said that only two of them have glass shells as inns.
Looking at this hermit crab from the side, it is obvious how the abdomen fits in the shell. By wrapping the abdomen around the shell of the snail, you can fix the body well and observe how it is moving.
When this highly visible exhibition method was released on Twitter, it was a big hit with nearly 190,000 likes. In addition, “I can understand that I really grab the shell and carry it on my back.” “This is amazing! You can observe hermit crabs as you like!” “One of the things I wanted to know what was going on.” I’m glad I saw this before I died! “