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Hermit crabs of the genus Parapagurus are among the most conspicuous organisms on the continental slope region (200 to 3,000 m) of practically every major ocean. However, they occur from depths of 55 m to nearly 5,000 m. Parapagurus pilosimanus is found in the western Atlantic from off Nova Scotia to Guyana and in the eastern Atlantic from southwest of Iceland and the Faeroe Islands to west of Ireland and the Bay of Biscay and south to the Gulf of Guinea (possibly as far south as Tristan da Cunha). This species has been collected from 102 to 3,864 m, but is found most frequently between 400 m and 1400 m.

Lemaitre (1989) examined a large number of Parapagurus samples from throughout the world's oceans, but never found P. pilosimanus from outside the Atlantic. Thus, in the absence of solid evidence to the contrary, he considered the species to be limited to the Atlantic, despite reports of its occurrence elsewhere.

Many Parapagurus species have developed striking symbiotic relationships with various anthozoan cnidarians (zoanthids or actinians), living in shelters formed by their hosts known as carcinoecia. Parapagurus are usually found living in shelters formed by a species of Epizoanthus. Large individuals of P. pilosimanus commonly inhabit large colonies of this zoanthid.

(Lemaitre 1986,1989; Cardoso and Lemaitre 2012)

Key sources of information on Parapagurus pilosimanus and related species include Lemaitre (1986,1989,1990) and Cardoso and Lemaitre (2012).


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