Hermit Crabs

Alford Lloyd,  « Hermit Crabs »,  Science-Gossip,Londres, juillet 1866, p. 160.

Miss Smee, some time ago, published an interesting account of the manner in which caddis-worms (the aquatic larvae of Phryganea) will sometimes construct new cases for themselves from various other substances when in an aquarium, than those they employ when in a state of nature, and I, as a sort of pendant to this, have to state, that hermit crab at times exemplify that «  necessity is the mother of invention », for lately I received two tiny Paguri,alive, but each wanting the empty shell which they employ as a house, as every one knows. I put them into a jar of sea water and forget them, and next morning I found that one had made a house of the shell of the hand and wrist of another and larger hermit, which had exuviated in the jar a few days previously, and which haf been removed, all but the portion of shell named, and which was accidentally left behind. The other living hermit, being similary hard up for a covering, converted a deserted fragment of a Serpula tube into a house.

I then threw in a couple of small empty shells of periwinkles (Littorina), and these, after careful examination, they finally took possession of, as being more natural to them than the provisional accomadation which served their purpose in theirneed, for a few hours.