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(typical hermit crabs), a family of marine decapod crustaceans with a body length reaching 17 cm. Hermit crabs insert their soft abdomens into the empty shells of gastropods and sometimes into a piece of bamboo stalk. They are capable of inserting the entire anterior part of their body into a shell. Of the approximately 450 species, 27 are found in the seas of the USSR. Hermit crabs move freely on the sea bottom by means of their thoracic legs, holding onto the shell with the abdominal limbs and the terminal pair of thoracic legs. Some live in symbiosis with actiniae that attach their foot to the crab’s shell. The actiniae protect themselves and the crab from enemies with their stinging cells, although, at the same time, they eat the remains of the crab’s food.
REFERENCESMakarov, V. V. “Anomura.” In Fauna SSSR. Rakoobraznye, vol. 10, issue 3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1938.
Zhizn’zhivolnykh, vol. 2. Moscow, 1968.