- "I caught a hermit crab! Finally, it came out of its shell!"
The Hermit Crab, Coenobita cavipes, is an uncommon bug found on the beaches of Tortimer Island year-round, between 7pm and 8am. They disguise themselves as shells on the beach, then jump out when the player comes close to them. It can be sold for 1,000 Bells.
An information board in the bug exhibit will provide information about this bug.
"Hermit crabs live in empty shells they can fit their bodies into. As they grow, they find bigger shells. They're quite picky about each new shell and first measure the opening with their claws. The shells they choose usually fit well, and they'll sometimes fight one another over ownership rights."
In real life
Most hermit crabs have long, spirally curved, soft abdomens. The vulnerable abdomen is protected from predators by using empty seashells that it carries, in which its whole body can retract. They are most commonly found in the shells of sea snails, since the abdomen has adapted to grab strongly onto the inside of the snail shell.
The name "hermit crab" comes from the fact that, as the crab grows, it must find a new shell that fits better. Hermits live alone and often move from one place to the next. Sometimes, hermit crabs will team up on a hermit crab who is deemed to have a better shell, and can be seen prying its home away from it.