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News Archive > General > How a hermit crab earned a Cornish name

How a hermit crab earned a Cornish name

By Kirstie Newton 3rd March 2021

How a hermit crab earned a Cornish name
The rare species of hermit crab, named St Piran´s

〓〓 Gool Peran Lowen! (Happy St Piran’s Day)

🐚 Do you know how the St Piran’s hermit crab got its name?

This rare species was rediscovered on a Cornwall Wildlife Trust Shoresearch survey in March 2016, after a gap of almost 50 years.

BBC Springwatch presenter Gillian Burke came to see it, and led a national public vote to name the red-legged creature. St Piran was a fitting name, as the saint was a hermit who survived being thrown into the sea.

The species has since been spotted around the county in recent years, from Looe to Mount’s Bay and Porthcothan on the north coast.

This warm water species can be seen from April to October and is identified by its red eye stalks with striking black and white eyes.

It grows up to 3cm long and makes its home in a variety of empty sea snail shells including flat periwinkle, dog whelk and sting winkle.

It is much shyer than the common hermit crab, and will hunker down inside a shell until all danger has disappeared.

Now you know! 〓〓

By Kirstie Newton 3rd March 2021

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