Hermit crabs are decapod crustaceans of the superfamily Paguroidea.
There are many species, each of which deserves attention, but not all hermit crustaceans are suitable for keeping in an aquarium. And those that are suitable require some knowledge from the owner. What kind of knowledge? Let’s look at this article.
- 1 The appearance and structure of hermit crabs
- 2 Popular species of hermit crabs
- 3 Health and longevity of hermit crabs
- 4 Requirements for the keeping of hermit crabs
- 5 The neighborhood of hermit crabs
- 6 Feeding hermit crab
- 7 Captive breeding of hermit crabs
- 8 Interesting facts about hermit crabs
- 9 Facts About Hermit Crabs
The appearance and structure of hermit crabs
The size of the hermit’s crab is from 2 to 15 cm, determined by the species. The description of the appearance and structure of arthropod is quite unusual. The body consists of head, legs, body, mustache, and claws. The latter is located near the head. The claw on the right is larger than the left. It’s used to cover the housing entrance. The left one is used to cover the housing entrance. The legs are arranged in a row with claws, with their help the crab moves.
The structure of hermit crab is easier to see in the picture. Because in real life, this arthropod is always in a hurry and does not allow you to look carefully at yourself.
The torso (at the front) is covered with a chitin layer, i.e. shell. The non-hard back part is not covered by anything. That’s why the crab hides it in the cabin. It’s hard for him to survive without the shell. It’s fixed with small hind limbs. The crab house is set up in the shells of different clams. Cranial legs always choose shells larger than their body for convenience. Because crab is constantly growing, it is necessary to periodically look for new housing.
The appearance (including color) of the hermit crab is determined by age and appearance. It can be pink (of different shades), blue, red, purple.
Popular species of hermit crabs
There are hundreds of varieties of hermit crabs known. By and large, they only differ in color, less often in size. Among the aquarium lovers who choose arthropods by color, the most popular are the following hermit crab: blue-striped, golden, orange-striped, red-legged.
Health and longevity of hermit crabs
At the stage of crab larvae, hermits often become food for sea creatures. In adulthood, survival rates are higher thanks to the lifeboat. The most difficult moment in life is the transition to new housing. Then the soft body has no protection and hermit crab can easily become prey for another animal. It happens that the crab drives out of the home of a weaker relative, and takes his place. Also, as a home of crab hermits pick up caps from tubes and bottles, pieces of the lung, and other human garbage. But even with home, hermit crab can’t feel safe completely. After all, squids and octopuses with their jaws can easily destroy a crab house. The life expectancy of these arthropods is 10 to 11 years.
Requirements for the keeping of hermit crabs
A comfortable stay for one hermit crab can be provided with an aquarium of at least 40 liters in size. And more, depending on the size of an adult animal and the number of living organisms living in it. The water temperature is at least 26 degrees. A lower temperature will provoke disease, while a higher one will accelerate metabolism and lead to premature aging. Requirements for the acidity of 8 pH. Salinity is 35-37.
At the bottom of the aquarium pour fine sea sand, a layer of at least 12 cm. Other fillers may damage the delicate body of arthropods. The sand must be sea sand because any other can not provide the ecosystem with the right minerals. Also, crab hermits are very happy to climb and play. In this regard, the presence of natural stones and toys in their home is required. As the crab grows, the hermit will need a new home, so you should put into the aquarium and several shells of different sizes.
The neighborhood of hermit crabs
It happens that the crab, in search of a home, offers congeners to exchange shells. They tapping claws at the neighbor’s house. If the latter is suitable for the exchange, the crab’s exchange shells. Otherwise, they split up or come into a confrontation, you can’t guess.
The crabs are hermits who can’t stand being alone at all (despite their name). For this reason, the aquarium should have two or more individuals. Practice shows that the representatives contained in captivity are very calm. They can be seen aggressively very rarely.
But the snails have almost no chance to survive with such neighbors. The shells will be appropriated and their former owners ate.
With fish and shrimp, in most cases, the hermit’s crab neighbors are peaceful.
However, there is a creature whose neighborhood benefits the crab – actinia. The symbiosis of hermit crab and actinia is fascinating! He carries it on his shell and feeds it, and it protects it with poisonous tentacles!
The hermit’s crab, moving to a new home, gently carries its neighbor with it!
Feeding hermit crab
Feeding arthropods rarely causes problems. This is because these animals eat all kinds of food. They are scavengers, in most cases enough fish food leftovers to fall to the bottom. If you want to treat your pet, offer him seafood: shrimps, squid, octopus, dry algae. The food should be pre-shredded. Also, collecting “edible” garbage hermit crab relieves the aquarium of detritus, lower algae, and cyanobacteria.
Crab in no case should not overfeed.
The hermits are very smart animals. They quickly navigate when feeding other aquarium residents (eg, fish). At the right time, the crab will be at the feeding site to pick up the leftovers.
Captive breeding of hermit crabs
The main role in reproduction is played by female specimens. From time to time the female produces a large number of eggs (it happens that up to 15 thousand at a time). She carries them on her abdomen. Seven days later, the larvae appear, which can swim and live in a pond on their own. After four molts, they become a young crab. In natural conditions, they multiply throughout the year. The hermit crab does not reproduce in an artificial environment.
Interesting facts about hermit crabs
- Hermit crabs completely eat small fish (to the bone) in just a few hours.
- They are active both during the day and at night. It keeps going on searching for food.
- Other crustaceans and multi-bristle worms can live in the crab’s house. Interestingly, it does not touch its own and eats others with pleasure.
- Hermit crabs are called pond orderlies. It can be explained as follows: they eat everything they meet. Thanks to this interesting fact, their habitats are always very clean.
- The crab meat is white, tender, and pleasant. It weighs 20% of their body weight.
- Molting turns an ordinary hermit’s crab into a helpless animal. It occurs several times in the first two years of life, and then so much more in the remaining period of existence.
- Crab breathes through the skin gills. To maintain oxygen metabolism, it needs to show up periodically in the fresh air.
- The eyes are on the stems. This allows them to stretch out, which regulates vision.
The hermit crab is real beach cleaners. Thanks to their way of life, they rid the natural environment of organic decline. Living in aquariums, as noted by the owners, clean up their glasshouses. Hermit crabs destroy cyanobacteria, detritus, and other harmful artificial reservoirs. This means they not only decorate but also clean up your aquarium!
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Facts About Hermit Crabs
Hermit crabs are fascinating creatures that have become popular pets and fascinating pets for many people around the world. They are decapod crustaceans in the superfamily Paguroidea and are anomurans, meaning they live inside empty mollusk shells. This allows them to protect their fragile exoskeletons and maintain a close relationship with their habitat. Their shells are typically snug, asymmetric, and shaped like a snail’s.
Hermit crabs do not actually live in caves. Their habitat is in a snail’s shell, and they live in these to protect themselves. In their natural habitat, hermit crabs live in large networks and trade their shells. In captivity, hermit crabs live in communal settings, which means they are likely to be more social than you think. In addition, hermit crabs are very social and will climb over each other to find a new shell.
Hermit crabs are not true crabs – they do not have a hard exterior shell. They get their shells from other sources. They are similar to lobsters and do not leave their shells, so they look more like lobsters than crabs. A few other facts about hermit crabs may surprise you. While they are small in size, they do not need much space. A coconut crab, also known as a palm thief, is the exception. It can grow up to 3 feet in length and weigh nine pounds!
Despite the fact that hermit crabs do not have claws, they do share a home with a variety of other animals. In fact, they are gregarious crustaceans. They are symbiotic with other creatures, such as anemones, which live on their shells. These creatures feed off the scraps of food that their hermit crab eats. In return, these animals protect one another by stinging their anemones with stinging tentacles.
Although the hermit crab is not a pure crab, it is still a member of the crab family. They are not strictly aquatic, but they do form colonies of several hundred individuals, which is one of the reasons for their large number of colonies. Their colony size means that they are very resilient, and can survive in the wild. This also makes them very sociable. The species of hermit crabs is found in all parts of the world and is a favorite pet of many people.
Hermit crabs are very social. In fact, they form a strong bond with their sea anemone friends. Anemones are not only a source of protection for the crab, but they also provide camouflage for the crab. In addition to this, hermit crabs are very protective of one another. They share their shells with other hermit crabs in order to survive and reproduce.
Hermit crabs have five pairs of legs. Two pairs of legs are used to grip their shells, while the other pair of legs is used for walking. During their molting phase, hermit crabs shed their limbs, but they regrow them in due time. Hermit crabs can be very cute and interesting pets. Just be careful to keep them away from children and animals. There are many facts about Hermit Crabs.
Hermit crabs don’t speak. They only chirp and stridulate when they are distressed, but their verbalization can indicate that they are unhappy. Hermit crabs are not afraid of humans, but it’s important to understand that they are a part of the larger ecosystem. They are adapted to live in both saltwater and freshwater environments, but most live in the ocean.
The shell is not only a hermit crab’s home, but it is also its armor. In addition to being a home, the hermit crab will spend up to eight hours in its new shell before it decides to move to a new one. Since their shell is not a sustainable resource, it is a very unsustainable animal. For this reason, it’s not recommended that anyone buy a hermit crab.
Hermit crabs are not able to reproduce outside of the ocean. This is not a good way to protect them, because hermit crabs have been known to attack other hermit crabs. In fact, hermit crabs often fight to keep their shells. This behavior is called “shell-jealous”. A hermit crab will even kill another crab to protect its own shell. During a fight, the hermit crab will try to eat the other hermit crab’s eggshell.