Hermit Crab| All You Need To Know

Hermit crab

There are almost 800 species of hermit crab all over the world. All the species live in oceans. People mostly know about semi-terrestrial crabs, known as land hermit crabs, and kept at home as pets. Their lifespan is about 1 to 10 years.

“Clibanarius fonticola” are only freshwater hermit crabs that belong to Vanuatu. Hermit crabs are omnivorous insects and eat microscopic muscles, the remaining parts of dead animals, and microalgae.

These type of crabs are not true crabs, and they do not have a stable exoskeleton or cannot grow in their shells. Hermit crabs have a hard exoskeleton and soft tails, which makes them able to fit inside their shells.

How Do Hermit Crabs Reproduce?

The interbreeding process involves only a male and female crab. Once male sperms are transferred into female reproductive organs (genophores), then she starts to produce eggs. After that, sperm merges into eggs, the zygote is formed, and fertilization begins.

Do Hermit Crabs Lay Eggs?

Hermit crabs lay eggs, and female hermit crabs reproduce in captivity because hermit crabs depend upon the presence of salty water to lay eggs. Aside from the oceans, females do not take an interest in breeding.

After mating, the female carries about 50,000 eggs monthly and lays when salty water is available for hatching eggs. Hermit crabs are not interested in their young’s development. After laying eggs, the female crab finds a new mate.

The hatched newborn is called “Zoea.”

How Many Eggs Do Hermit Crabs Lay?

Female hermit crabs can lay more than 50,000 eggs. It is infrequent for females to carry 1000 eggs at any time. Egg production depends upon the male and female’s age and size. Hermit crabs reach their reproduction goal as they become mature. 

When a female becomes older and molts then, more eggs are produced. The size of about 4 to 6 mm is considered optimum for breeding.

Baby Hermit Crab

Baby Hermit Crab:

Hermit crabs lay eggs, and babies are hatched from eggs. Female hermit crabs carry a baby until its color changes from brown to blue because, at this point, development has been completed. Babies look like small brown circles in a bunch of grapes.

Other animals gave birth to only one baby at a time, but hermit crabs laid more in one effort.

Baby hermit crabs need a moist environment for comfortable breathing. They also need freshwater and saltwater. Purchase a bowl with a humidity level of about 70 to 80% so the baby can survive easily. Baby hermit crabs like to eat vegetables and pellet food. Baby hermit crabs eat food through small bites, commonly at night.

Hermit Crab Out Of The Shell:

The shell of hermit crabs is like a home for them. At the molting stage, crabs lose their shells. Hermit crabs protect their abdomen in the proper humidity level. When a crab decides to leave its shells, it is considered significant because they leave its shells for a proper reason. Most of them are environmental and other health threats.

When a hermit crab develops into a mature crab, it needs another shell because the previous shell is too small for growth. Most hermit crabs die in their shells because shells give a site of protection to them. Here is a detailed article about hermit crab with out shell.

What Do Hermit Crab Eat?

Hermit crabs are omnivores and can eat plants and animals. They live in salt water but drink only rainwater. Hermit crabs depend on their sense of smell to discover food. They use their chelipeds, which are claws, for eating.

Do Hermit Crabs Live In Water?

Marine hermit crabs live in water and also spend a little time without water and survive. This is done when they feel like mating and searching for food. Some types of hermit crabs prefer to spend all their lives in water.

Land crabs live on land and can survive temporarily in water. They give preference to saltwater and freshwater for survival. Hermit crabs use their gills for breathing, but land crabs cannot live in water for a long time.

Hermit crabs cannot live without water and feel difficulty in breathing. They need a lot of salt, which helps them during molting. As a result, they keep water in their exterior body parts to keep their gills moist.

Marine hermit crabs have different abilities to survive without water.

Can Hermit Crabs Swim?

Marine hermit crabs live in water but cannot swim in the water. They use gills for breathing and spend most of their time on the ocean floor.

All hermit crabs have ten legs, but some also have claws. Front legs are used to serve up food into the crab’s mouth. They also use their claws for their safety. They use their last legs to clean their shells.

Their front legs may be helpful in swimming but not enough to push them ahead through water. They eat snails and algae and are not interested in swimming to get out of the water.

Can Hermit Crab Live Under The Sand

Can Hermit Crab Live Under The Sand?

Both hermit crabs like to live in cool and dark places to keep their gills moist. They can also save themselves from predators and live under the sand. 

Marine crabs commonly live in tidal environments. They can be merged into the sand during high tides but exposed to the air at low tides. So, they prefer to hide under sand for protection. Land hermit crabs can live about a month until molting.

Pet crabs also make a hole to live in until their old exoskeleton is modified.

How Do Hermit Crabs Poop?

The poop of hermit crabs is black and brown and small. They commonly poop inside shells, and after that, they clean poop with the help of their hind legs. They urinate through antennas. Their poop does not have a bad smell.

Crab poop is not harmful to humans but has bacteria that can cause diseases, so wash your hands and wear gloves.

Hermit crab poop is a good fertilizer because it contains nitrogen and helps plants grow quickly. Other animals consume hermit crab poop. As well as being important for wildlife, it is also beneficial to the environment.


Hermit crabs are crustaceans and may be kept as pets. Some species can breathe in the water, and some cannot for a long time. Breathing ability relies on the crab’s age. They do not take an interest in swimming because they feed on ocean snails and other reptiles. The life cycle from zoea to mature crab is full of danger. That’s why only a few remain alive for a long time. They cannot breed in captivity. Females produce a lot of eggs at a time. In this way, hermit crabs allow the breeding of the species.

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