Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Dragon Sensory Hours: The dragons will be asleep from 2 to 4:30 p.m. daily.

Tricolor Hermit

Clibanarius tricolor

The Clibanarius tricolor is a hermit crab named after it's 3-colored pattern featured on the legs. The species are beneficial to their natural ecosystems, as they feed on supplemental green hair algae, cyanobacteria, & seaweed.

Range & Habitat

The Tricolor hermit is found in rocky intertidal zones with ranges along the tropical western Atlantic Ocean, Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean. 

Conservation Status: Not Evaluated

This species has not been evaluated/listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Threats: This small marine invertebrate is heavily exploited by the ornamental pet industry.


The Tricolored hermit are scavengers which feds upon marine detritus and algae and are more active eaters during nocturnal hours than daylight hours. This species of hermit can be seen feeding on Aiptasia, glass anemones which plagues reef aquariums.

Life Span

In the Wild: 30 years; in Human Care: 1-2 years average

Fun Facts about the Tricolor Hermit

  • These tricolored hermit crabs can often enter battles with other hermit crabs for their shells; the battles can end with the loser high damaged or dead.
  • This species is also known as the equal-handed hermit due to having both their claws equally sized and ambidextrous, unlike most species of hermit crabs.


Gibbes. G. 1850. Clibanarius tricolor+family Diogenidae. World Register of Marine Species. WoRMS - World Register of Marine Species - Clibanarius tricolor (Gibbes, 1850).

Updated June 13, 2023
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