Caribbean Hermit Crab

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Scientific name: Coenobita clypeatus

The basics:
The Caribbean Hermit Crab is a terrestrial species of hermit crab which is widely sold in pet stores.

Most Hermit Crabs are aquatic, but there are around 15 species which are terrestrial, and these are the Hermit Crabs which are popular pets. Hermit Crabs are social creatures, and, unlike most crustaceans, have soft abdomens, which they protect by finding abandoned shells that they squeeze into. As they age and grow, Hermit Crabs need to scavenge larger shells.

Appearance / health:
Hermit Crabs have long slender bodies that they keep safe by salvaging leftover sea shells or gastropod shells that they then inhabit. They have eight jointed legs, protruding eyes to see above the shell, and a pair of large, usually powerful pinchers. Coloration varies between species captured in different areas. Some may be a dark red, while others may be brown, light orange, or even a purplish color. Shells are always different, none are exactly the same.

Behavior / temperament:
Hermit Crabs are highly social and should never be housed alone. They do best in groups of 3 or more. They are handle-able but of course, they are crabs, and crabs can pinch. Hermit Crabs often make great starter pets for kids, but will make a neat addition to any keepers collection. They love to play, climb, and are always active. Some have been noted to climb all over each other, resembling a pyramid, and will sleep that way!

A 10 gallon tank makes a good starter home for 2-3 small to medium sized Hermit Crabs. If housing more together, a 20 gallon tank may be used. Other containers such as plastic shoe boxes, Rubbermaid containers, and other small enclosures may be used with baby crabs, but not as a permanent home. A secure top is a must as Hermit Crabs can and will climb.
Temperature and humidity are huge factors when keeping Hermit Crabs. Temperatures should not drop below 72F and are best kept around 75-80F. Humidity is even more important than the temperature and should never drop below 70%. Hermit Crabs need a warm, tropical (moist) environment. The moisture is to keep their gills wet so they don’t suffocate. Substrate is also important. It should be either sand or coco fiber, or even a mix of both. It should be kept moist to aid in humidity and also allow the crabs to bury themselves. Tank décor should be items that will allow these crabs to play with and climb on. Cork bark, cholla wood, driftwood, fake plants and other items may be used. You must also keep shells of larger sizes available. As the Hermit Crab grows it will need to upgrade to a larger shell. Shallow water and food dishes must be used. If the water dish gets too deep for your crabs you must add a sponge.

Hermit Crabs are calcium and carotene deficient and therefore, need to be offered food items that are high in these elements. Corn and carrots usually work best. Other foods need to be offered as well and can be anything from fruit, decaying wood, leaf litter, fish, meat, and other veggies. Commercial crab food is not required if you feed your crabs “human grade” foods. Variety is best and they do best getting varied dinners every day. Never leave food in the tank for long, as it will attract flies and other unwanted scavengers.


interesting, social creatures, fascinating creatures, easiest animals, entertaining, great first pet


Empty shells, kinda boring Hermit, Tank maintenance, molting hermit crab, terrible odor, ungodly smell


dry shrimp treats, chirping, discernible personalities, allergy free pet

Caribbean Hermit Crab Health Tip

Caribbean Hermit Crab

From Jenniferspets Apr 26 2017 11:34PM


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