This study was conducted between January and December 1995 at Armação do Itapocoroy, Penha, Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. Monthly samples were carried out in the morning, afternoon, and evening using two over-trawls with 6 m at the opening, 3·0-cm mesh at the outer part and 2·0-cm mesh in the bag. Dardanus insignis was collected year round but with higher densities in September and October. The hermit crabs were more abundant during the evening than the afternoon but no differences were recorded between morning and both evening and afternoon. Females were slightly more abundant than males but the sex ratio did not differ from 1:1. Females were more abundant in the smallest size-classes (<1·8 cm) while males outnumbered females in the largest ones (>2·2 cm). The individuals of this population of D. insignis have a mean cephalothoracic length of 1·89±0·40 cm (range 1·00 to 3·90 cm) and a mean weight of 40·26±27·06 g. The size distribution showed an unimodal pattern, with males being larger than ovigerous females, which, in turn, were larger than non-ovigerous females. Dardanus insignis showed a seasonal reproductive pattern with a peak from September to November and complete absence of ovigerous females from April to August. The von Bertalanffy growth function (VBGF) with temporal oscillation fitted for this population of D. insignis had the following parameters: L∞=4·40 cm, K=0·60, C=0·95, WP=0·35. Recruitment was estimated to start in September and was extended to the following months. Estimates of longevity ranged from 20 to 62 months. A mortality rate of 2·21 was estimated based on the length converted catch curve. The cephalothoracic length of males and females showed, respectively, positive and negative allometry with both cephalothoracic width and crab weight.