Distribution of Newly Recorded Intertidal Hermit Crabs Along Gujarat Coast

Pradip Kachhiya, Paresh Poriya, Jatin Raval, Rahul Kundu


Present study reports the diversity, distribution and population abundance of hermit crabs in the intertidal zone of three contrasting coastline off Arabian Sea, Gujarat, India. The south Saurashtra coastline is unique in harboring the species which are sometimes different than that of the mainland Indian coastline. Three sampling sites, which differ in the characteristics of the intertidal zone,  were selected for the study. The sites include a muddy intertidal zone at Koliyak, a sandy shore at Sarkeshwar near Jafrabad and a rocky coast at Veraval. Twelve species of hermit crabs belonging to three genera, i.e., Clibanarius, Diogenes, and Pagurus from two families Diogenidae and Paguridae were recorded from the three sampling sites. Among these, eight species were new record from this coastline. It was observed that Veraval and Sarkeshwar were more similar followed by Veraval and Koliyak while no similarity was observed between Koliyak and Sarkeshwar in terms of the species diversity. The population abundance of the hermit crabs showed spatial variations between the intertidal zones at Veraval and Sarkeshwar. However, very little temporal variation in the population abundance was observed at the three sampling sites.


Hermit Crab; Diversity; Distribution; Abundance; Intertidal Area; Kathiawar Peninsula


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