I think we may have found the smallest soldier crab (aka hermit crab) on the island of Salt Cay! This little hermie is so small it was not even curling up when Mike picked it up but kept crawling around all over his hands.
And this little guy was quick! The first couple of photos I tried to get were blurred because he just kept scooting around from one hand to the next. Salt Cay's smallest soldier crab is about the size of 1/2 of my baby fingernail! Amazing
From Widipedia -- "There are approximately 15 terrestrial species in the world, and of those, the following are commonly kept as pets: Caribbean hermit crab, Coenobita clypeatus, and the Ecuadorian hermit crab, Coenobita compressus. Other species such as Coenobita brevamanus, Coenobita rugosus, Coenobita perlatus or Coenobita cavipes are less common but growing in availability and popularity as pets. In certain regions of the Caribbean, such as Jamaica and the Florida Keys, hermit crabs are commonly used in a sport known as crab racing, where they are placed in the center of a ring and whichever crab reaches the outside of the ring first wins."
Salt Cay has some great hermit crab races! None this year, but with luck next year we'll be able to do a few races. The hermit crab races were used as fund raisers for the Balfour Town Public Library on Salt Cay about five years ago and for other community projects too. Lots of fun!!
If you're ever on Salt Cay when we have hermit crab races, be sure to ask for Soldier Crabs from Mike & Ann! This is a picture over our north fence of just a few of the hundreds of soldier crabs in our "stables"!