Long-wristed Hermit Crab - Pagurus longicarpus
Holding claws <3!
These crabs were quite ubiquitous in the low tide zone. And, so many of them were in pairs -- where one of them was holding the other's claw. It was so cute. These crabs can pinch, but I usually find them to be gentle and have never been pinched by one.
Habitat: Low tide zone on Laudholm beach. Laudholm is part of Wells National Estuarine Research Preserve. The preserve includes 2,250 acres of upland fields and forests, freshwater and estuarine wetlands, salt marshes, brackish marshes, scrub swamp, and a beach-and-dune system. The protected area goes from Little River to the Ogunquit River. The beach is enormous at low tide with lots of fun areas to explore for critters. It's also pretty empty as most people aren't willing to hike through the preserve to get to the beach. The beach is very variable with areas of coarse and fine sand, mudflats, boulders, and cobbles. It's an incredible place!
''Pagurus longicarpus'', the long-wristed hermit crab, is a common hermit crab found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States and the Atlantic coast of Canada.