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FAQs on Terrestrial/Freshwater Hermit Crabs Reproduction

Related Articles: Terrestrial Hermit Crabs, Freshwater CrustaceansInvertebrates for Freshwater Aquariums by Neale Monks,

Related FAQs: Terrestrial Hermit Crabs 1, Terrestrial Hermit Crabs 2, & FAQs on Terrestrial Hermits: Terr. Hermit ID, Terr. Hermit Behavior, Terr. Hermit Compatibility, Terr. Hermit Selection, Terr. Hermit Systems, Terr. Hermit Feeding, Terr. Hermit Disease & FAQs on Marine/SW: SW Hermit ID, SW Hermit Behavior, SW Hermit Compatibility, SW Hermit Selection, SW Hermit Systems, SW Hermit Feeding, SW Hermit Disease/HealthSW Hermit Reproduction, &FW Crustaceans 1FW Crustaceans 2


Hermit crab eggs..., SW, terr.?    5/15/07 Hi - <Hello there> I looked all over Google and a few other search engines couldn't find what I was looking for, so I am asking you for help.  My boyfriend just bought a new hermit crab about 3 weeks ago, we figured out that she is a girl and now he has noticed that on her sides she has 3 sacks that look like they are filled with water.  Are those egg sacks or is it something else? <Mmm, yes...>   I couldn't find any pictures that reminded me of what we saw on her otherwise I would have attached them. Any ideas, suggestions, tips on what it is and what we can do for her? Thank you, Sunni <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hermitreprofaqs.htm and the linked files above, and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/hermitcrabfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Hermit Crab Reproduction? Nope - Just Molting - 8/21/03 We apparently had a male ("Jupiter")  and a female ("Crustaceous") hermit crab.  They were reasonably active (when it was safe I let them out to walk around an open space on the floor).  They enjoyed their food and drank from their sponge.   They always slept cuddled closely together. <Hmmm... no mention of daily spraying of them/the tank for humidity... helps them to breath easier - literally. Too many hobbyists are not informed of this and the crabs suffer slowly over time (evidenced by inactivity, incomplete molts, etc)> Then Crustaceous seemed to be getting antisocial and was off to herself most of the time.  I realized she was in the same spot through the day and then also through the night.  When I picked her up, she just about fell out of her shell - and of course she was dead.  But her body looked really weird - as if there was almost nothing inside the skin.   <this was simply the molt my friend> I planned to bury her with the rest of our long last hermit crabs, <yikes... how many bodies? I'm wondering if they just haven't been petering out slowly from lack of spraying/humidity?> but I thought I would clean the shell and keep it. I was shocked when I looked into the shell and saw what looked like a very tiny fully formed hermit crab claw.  It was orange/red in color.  I determined there was no life in whatever it was and tried to pry it gently from the shell.  It was a tiny  formed crab. The legs broke off as it just fell out once it was loosened.  That also seemed as if there was not much (if anything) inside the shell. There was an odor so my husband quickly wrapped it up and disposed of it.  I am sorry to say we didn't just bury the whole thing in the yard.  But, I was afraid of disease and the whole thing was so weird I wasn't sure it really happened.  Jupiter is not looking too well right now either.  I totally scrubbed their home, changed everything and am trying to keep him safe if there were any germs.  But, I am afraid we are going to lose him. I have been obsessed with that baby crab - because that's what I'm sure it was - and regret I hadn't seen your web site before I disposed of it.  I would appreciate your comments.  Ann <please do buy a handbook online or at your local pet store on keeping hermit crabs properly... much data online too. That was no baby as you might guess by now, but the shrunk molted living crab. It sounds like you need a spray bottle in use by the tank ;) Best of luck. Anthony>

Hermit Crab Reproduction? Molting - 8/24/03 Thank you so much for your prompt response.  I feel terrible to know I caused its death.   <no worries, mate... their natural lifespan is not so long... and the crabs we collect are generally adults of an unknown age> I do spray the crabs (obviously not enough) and make sure they always have plenty of clean water in their dish and sponge.   <excellent to hear... and do check out the following links mentioned to us by a daily reader after seeing yours and other recent posts: http://www.landhermitcrabs.com http://www.hermit-crabs.com > I have kept them successfully for years at a time.  And I have read up some - again obviously not enough.  I only learned from your site about their need for salt, though I should certainly have figured that out considering they come from the shore.  I never, never heard anything about the crab molting - not from any of my friends who have many more hermit crabs than I have. <my goodness... tis a common, albeit secretive occurrence. The molts are generally eaten> And believe it or not, I did even buy a hermit crab book at the pet store when my granddaughter brought the first hermit crab here.   <excellent... you really are quite on par my friend. Keeping them for a couple of years is quite good too> But she took the book, and I had the crab.  Not a very good combination. Please be sure no other hermit crab will suffer in my hands.   Thank you again. <always welcome... best of luck! Anthony>

Hermit crab babies 11/7/04 Hi Bob <Anthony Calf in his stead> I had a question on saltwater hermit crabs, my hermit crabs had babies and I read some of the articles on your website (great by the way). But I have heard that you must mimic a beach coastline, if not the baby hermit crabs will drown and die. If this is true than why can there parents be in an aquarium, wouldn't they drown also. Thank you! Sincerely, Jenny <there are many possibilities here... hermit crabs are known to be terrestrial, intertidal and of course - fully aquatic. Some spend their entire lives in a given niche while others spend certain life cycles in different niches. The "land" hermit crabs must be get moist and humid but not submerged or they will drown. Anthony>

Did my land hermit crabs lay eggs? Hey, my sister and I bought two hermit crabs, together, a few months ago.   Today, we came home, and my sister went to feed them and mist and everything else, well she picked up their food container, and found two semi-clear, with what looked like pink "claws" on each side?  We are freaking out, mainly because, this is the first time, this has happened to us?  We've been researching ever since, we discovered what was in their food container, and cannot find any answers.  We would greatly appreciate your help!! < Your hermit crab has an exo-skeleton so the only they can grow is to shed this skeleton every once in a while as they grow. I think what you found is the left over external skeleton of each of the claws.-Chuck>

Land Hermit Reproduction or Shed/Molt? 10/23/04 I came home, and was going to feed my hermit crabs, I found in their food bowl, one little pink ball, I left it in there, gave them some fresh food, I woke up the next day, and went to check on them, on the other side of their food bowl, was another ball.  The one that I found the day before had been buried. This was a couple of days ago, what is it? <tough to say without a picture or better description. The burying of eggs for terrestrial varieties would not be a surprise though. A picture is worth a thousand words here in the absence of a description more detailed then "little pink ball", my friend. Anthony> Hey guys, great site.  

Mating Terrestrial Hermit Crabs? Chuck, Add another day to the encasement of the little crab. I just now tried to release the smaller one from the larger one's hold, that is covering it and Red knees  (the larger one has brighten in color to a complete strong red body) refuses to let go. The hold it has on the shell is very strong, and when I tried to remove him from his hold he tightened his grip around it. I don't want to hurt either one of them by forcing him to let go, but I can not find a way to do it.  One of them has also added more fine carrot pieces to the little shell crab's home. The little crab seems to be safe for he is able to sink deeply into the new shell. I do know that the crab in the encasement has moved into this new shell just recently. It has a great deal more room that I can tell. It color is not the off white as when it has molted before, but is a very dark gray in color.  They all have gone thru the bury in the sand stage just a short time ago and that is how I know they will be molting soon. They all have done this and , so I know molting is on the way.  This action is entirely unknown to me. The dumb question is what if they are mating and the babies that come from it ? What do I look for? and how will I protect any offspring? Do they need a water home ? or dry soil? Thank you for your suggestion and as soon as I am able to, I'll separate them into smaller enclosures. The other litter crab is fine and moving freely around in the aquarium, exploring all the new shells. Natalie <It seems that you do indeed have a pair of hermit grabs. The male thinks that the female has eggs. Once she lays the eggs then he wants to place his sperm packet in their shell so he can father the next batch. Hermit crabs actually mate in saltwater. Both of them retract from their shells and the eggs are scattered in the water. When the larvae reach adulthood the climb out of the water and begin their terrestrial life. I would place a shallow dish of saltwater in the tank with a pump or airstone to provide some water movement and see if the male will carry the female over to the water and will mate. It may not work but its worth a try to see what happens. If you do get eggs and they hatch then you will need to set up a saltwater tank and get some suggestions from the saltwater WWM crew on what to feed the larvae.-Good Luck.-Chuck>

Strawberry Hermit Crab Reproduction or Parasites? - 05/03/2006 Howdy! <Ahoy thar, matey!> I recently purchased a Land Hermit Crab, called a Strawberry type. <Coenobita perlatus> It is quite lively, and seems to be a good companion for our other crab (the gray-greenish type). <Likely C. compressus, maybe C. rugosus.> When I was doing my evening misting, I mist twice daily) I noticed the Strawberry almost all the way out if its shell, and standing quite rigid. Upon closer inspection I noticed several small white things on her back and shell. When I turned on a brighter light, they scurried under the strawberry. Could this be babies or mites? <Likely mites.> The are no larger than the head of a pin.  In the mean time, I have moved my other crab to a new tank. How do land hermit crabs, have and care for their babies? <Female land hermits, including strawberries, carry their eggs on their pleopods (kind of like a shrimp's "swimming legs") under their bellies to the ocean.  They leave their eggs in or near the water where they get washed away.  When the eggs hatch, the babies are very different from the adults; they don't look like crabs at all.  These larvae spend time floating out in the ocean until they've grown up into more crab-like crabs.  When they're ready, they crawl up on land and find a shell (or find a shell then crawl up on land).  Larval hermit crab babies can't crawl yet, so the things you saw on your strawberry aren't baby crabs, they're something else.  Whether they're mites or not, I don't know without seeing them.  I highly recommend that you visit one of the online hermit crab forums and chat with other crab owners to discuss what you might do to get rid of them if they are in fact mites.> Thank you very much, Kelly, Manteca CA. <Glad to be of service!  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina, Santa Cruz, CA>

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