Life behind a Hermit Crab's Shell
By Mia Stertzer
Hermit crabs are scientifically named Paguroidea (pag-ear-oadia)
Hermit crabs weight ranges from 200-500g (7-18oz.)
They are omnivores
Lifespan is 1-10 years
The size of a hermit crab is 2-10 cm (.8-4 in)
Hermit Crabs conservation status is threatened
Their skin is their shell
They can be Green, Red, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Pink, and White
Average litter size is 200
Natural habitat is coastal water
ALL ABOUT SHELLS
Painted shells can be toxic to the hermit crab
They need access to a bigger shell when they get bigger
The shell can’t have holes and must fit snugly
Ideal shell helps maintain moisture level--necessary for survival
Some hermit crabs will change shells multiple times a week, or everyday, while other hermit crabs will stick with one shell.
Hermit crabs may be unwilling to move if they’re cramped in their shell.
You can boil his new shell to make sure no germs are in it.
You can determine the size of a hermit crab’s shell by the size of their claw. (⅛ inch larger than the size of his big claw.
As you can see the hermit crab is safely in his shell. You can also see his two claws.
As you can see the left claw is the biggest.
Side View Close Up
As you can see the left claw sticking out. This is used for protection.
They eat fish, worms, and plankton
Hunted by fish, shark, and cuttlefish
They enjoy variety
They cannot eat processed food
Sugar and table salt can be harmful
They eat baby food, and the especially enjoy fruit flavors
You can give a hermit meat if it’s not seasoned with spices or table salt
Don’t put painted shells in a hermit crab’s tank, because soon paint will start chipping off and the hermit crab will eat it and become infected with the toxins in the paint.
Hermit crabs will store food in their shell
Hermit crabs poop little logs, like fish, out not ball shaped.
Hermit crabs poop in their shells and then get rid of them when the change shells
- They release waste gases near their eye, which makes a farting sound.
- Hermit crabs drink from a sponge
LONGEST LIVING HERMIT CRAB
Jonathan Livingston Crab and Crab Kate
They turned 29 in August
Carol Ann Ormes is the caretaker of these crabs
Jonathan is an explorer and likes to run around--he once climbed the bathroom wall!
Once Jonathan fell and made a nickel size hole in his shell
After that, she gave him a bath
The hermit crabs like a moist environment
Interview with Emily
How long have you had your hermit crabs?
How many times do you clean their tank?
"Once a week."
What do you feed them?
"I feed them two different mixes of hermit crab food from the pet store so they can have variety."
How many times do you feed them a day?
"I give them fresh food each day."
Do you interact with them?
"I'll let them crawl on my desk when I clean their cages, but they normally stay in their cages"
Where did you get your hermit crabs?
"The pet store."
Are their shells painted?
How many hermit crabs do you have?
What type of environment do you put your hermit crabs in, and why?
"There is sand, shells, water, and things that can hide in, because I try to get things from where they naturally live."
More in-depth about Herbie and Smiley
To further explain the molting process...
Fertilized eggs grow attached to the female’s abdomen
The left claw is larger for protection
Their antennas are the organs that they use to smell
Their eyes are on the end of optic stalks
Hermit crabs can be found around the world
Hermit crabs have not ever been bred successfully in captivity