New species of land hermit crab discovered: Coenobita lila

Nick Bay -
Nick Bay –

We are excited to announce the addition of a new Coenobita species!

Previously Coenobita from Borneo have been labelled as C. purpureus. New research proves this to be an incorrect identification. The species from Borneo is a new species different from C. purpureus and has been named Coenobita lila.

We would like to take time to thank Tony Coenobita for collaborating with us for many years on the research and identification of Coenobita species. Tony informed us last year that news would be coming of a new species. When the research was released, Tony provided it to us so that we could bring our site up to date. You can visit Tony’s page on Coenobita lila: Tony Coenobita lila
The site has been updated as of this morning and going forward I will be adding more details and better photos to aid in determining purpureus from lila.

Here’s what I have noted so far:

C. purpureus

Coloring – Adults are blue depending on where they are from. Juveniles are white. Joints are yellow/orange.

Eye stalks are generally just white. Yellow/orange border around the cornea

Antenna – first set have red tips, second set are white at the base

Shield is wide, generally uniform in color

Large claw is uniform in color has visible stitch marks and setae, joint is orange/yellow

Armor leg is slightly swollen

C. lila

Coloring – Usually purple, violet, or pale violet in adults

Eye stalks are white or light purple, often with a dark patch on the front of the stalk

Shield is wide with a dark patch, may also have a dark line that tranverses the shield, covered in setae and tubercles

Large claw has a dark patch, no stitch marks, setae on upper margin of palm, lower outer surface of palm covered in tubercles

Legs have a line on the two segments closest to the body