Hermit crabs (Pagurus bernhardus) live inside the empty shells of snail-like animals, particularly whelks and periwinkles. They live on sandy and rocky shores, where they scavenge on plant and animal remains. They have hard pincers, but a soft body which is hidden inside the shell.
How to Identify
This is the largest of several species of very similar hermit crabs.
Found all round our shores.
A recommended reference book for further information is the 'Great British Marine Animals' by Paul Naylor. (www.marinephoto.co.uk)