Hermit Crab

Crab hermit
© Tasmanian Government. Image Peter Gouldthorpe
Season: Open all year

bag limit15


possession limit30


boat limit-

(inshore crab species combined)

Guide to symbols

bagBag Limit
housePossession Limit
boatBoat Limit

Minimum size


Most scalefish are measured from the nose to the end of the tail. Get your scalefish measuring ruler or sticker at any Service Tasmania outlet.

Other names

stridulating hermit crab, rasping hermit crab

Scientific name

Strigopagurus strigimanus

Grows to

Up to

13cm across the carapace

Identifying features

​This crab is dark red with black tufts of hair on exposed parts of the legs and blue eyes. The long abdomen or tail is soft and vulnerable to predators so the crab finds an unused shell to protect itself, often retracting its entire body inside. These crabs extend their claws out to produce a sound to scare away predators.


Female crabs with eggs cannot be kept.


Commonly found around shallow sheltered rocky reef systems and may venture into deeper waters on occasions.

Fishing information

Hermit crabs are not normally targeted but are commonly found in craypots.


Whilst the crab will generally hide in its shell, they do have two powerful claws capable of giving quite a nip. Never try to remove the crab from the shell by force because the tail will usually stay locked in the shell and separate from the head, thereby killing the animal.


Fishwatch Report illegal fishing

0427 655 557

What to report? arrow button

Contact us

Recreational Fishing

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

Hobart TAS 7000

Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647

Email: fishing.enquiries@nre.tas.gov.au

Commercial Fisheries

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

Email: commercial.fisheries@nre.tas.gov.au

Commercial Fisheries Licensing

Level 1, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550

Email: fishing.licensing@nre.tas.gov.au