Crab in snail

littlehermit0

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Yesterday I bought this huge snail and I noticed there's a crab in it, am I lucky or is this a harmful hitchhiker?
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ISpeakForTheSeas

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Yesterday I bought this huge snail and I noticed there's a crab in it, am I lucky or is this a harmful hitchhiker?
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20240616_201508.jpg
This is quite interesting - I would guess it's a pea crab of some variety (probably from the Pinnotherinae subfamily), as they're known to live with a variety of host critters; they typically live with bivalves, but they have been known to branch out heavily including to gastropods (snails).

Some are considered commensal while others are parasitic (to my currently somewhat limited knowledge on it, the parasitic ones feed on the host while the commensal ones don't) - they basically live on the gills of the snail.

I wouldn't expect too many issues from the crab, but given that it might be parasitic, you may want to try and remove it if possible.
 
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littlehermit0

littlehermit0

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This is quite interesting - I would guess it's a pea crab of some variety (probably from the Pinnotherinae subfamily), as they're known to live with a variety of host critters; they typically live with bivalves, but they have been known to branch out heavily including to gastropods (snails).

Some are considered commensal while others are parasitic (to my currently somewhat limited knowledge on it, the parasitic ones feed on the host while the commensal ones don't) - they basically live on the gills of the snail.

I wouldn't expect too many issues from the crab, but given that it might be parasitic, you may want to try and remove it if possible.
I took the thing out and let him live, probably a pea crab but it's not in a ball shape. I'll leave him alone I like hitchhikers

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ISpeakForTheSeas

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I took the thing out and let him live, probably a pea crab but it's not in a ball shape. I'll leave him alone I like hitchhikers

20240617_215132.jpg
Yeah, not all pea crabs are ball-shaped; if you can get some clear pics of the top (full-body, straight-on from above) and front (face/claws), then I can try and ID it more specifically.

Regardless, it should stay small, and I don't imagine it would be able to harm much outside of a host if it's parasitic.
 
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