Talk:Hermit crab

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Is the subphylum Mandibula supposed to be Mandibulata? I say this because the latter is how it is spelled in all texts I've seen this year, as well as in the article, Mandible (arthropod), to which it links. Case in point:

"In arthropods, the mandible is either of a pair of arthropod mouthparts used for biting, cutting and holding food. Mandibles are often simply referred to as jaws. The arthropods with mandibles form the clade Mandibulata, comprising the extant subphyla Myriapoda, Crustacea and Hexapoda."

Also, there are some missing taxwe. Among them, Subclass Malacostraca which is not a minor classification at all. I am basing this on my Invertebrate zoology text published this year. I have it at my apartment, so I can't give the citation at this moment, but anywhere you look, I think your sources will agree. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Yarnbell333 (talkcontribs) 17:06, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Notable Species[edit]

I think we should keep links to stub articles out of the notable species section. Mostly because they are not notable enough to have a full article about them.

I could link to the entire Category:Anomura if that would be useful.

Comments? Mech Aaron (talk) 20:00, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Optimum habitat temperature[edit]

The Temperature must be kept between 74-82 degrees F sustained and the humidity must be between 75%-85% relative.

The conditions must be monitored constantly through the use of either dial type gauges or digital gauges. You are also reccomended to have a themometer that can be stuck down into the sand/substrate to read the temp. of the substrate which should be kwpt warm with the use of a UTH or under tank heater. That temp should range about the same as the air temp.

Have a couple sets of gauges, one close to the substrate level and the other set aobut mid way up the glass.. you need to make sure there are both light and shady areas of the tank and warm and cool areas.

     Citations please. (talk) 05:17, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Wouldn't it depend on the specific species? Given that they live in such a wide range of habitats and climates I find it hard to believe they all require identical conditions. Danikat (talk) 20:22, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Distinguish b/w male and female[edit]

SO IS IT A BOY OR A GIRL?? FOR the land hermit crab only

Take your crab in your hand, hold him/her above your line of sight.

Take your free hand and bring it steadily in front of your crab.

Allow him/her to stretch out to try to reach your free hand. (You can even use a pencil for this, in case he or she is pinchy.)

While the crab is stretching out of it's shell try to look on the underside of the legs.

Now the last pair of walking legs is where you need to look, right where they attach to the Hermie's body.

If you see small blackish dots or spots (one on each leg) then it is a GIRL!!!

NO dots or spots, it's a BOY!!!

Here is further info on the dots and what they do...

These "dots" are actually called Gonopores. They are close to the body near the joint of the last pair of walking legs of the Hermit Crabs.

This is where the male Hermit Crab will transfer his Spermatophore into the female. Though I have read it is transferred onto the female and not within. I guess since they do not reproduce successfully while in captivity, there will be much debate and discussion about this topic.

(Please also note the blackish/dark spots or dots may also be like tiny round holes depending on the actual species)


Despite of what you may have been told or read while learning about Land Hermit Crabs, it is VERY POSSIBLE to sex your crab and quite simple with patience and a cooperative crab.

Be gentle and take your time, sometimes they can be shy.. wouldn't you be?

Paguroidea: infraorder or superfamily?[edit]

This article describes Paguroidea as an infra-order, while Anomura says it's a superfamily. Is there a consensus in the scientific community? A-giau 19:48, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Any animal taxon ending in -oidea is a superfamily, including Paguroidea. I will change the article now. --Stemonitis 08:31, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)


I just added a photograph of a Hermit Crab I photographed in Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica. I would prefer to place it in a more specific article, but the closest I come to identifying it is as a Land Hermit Crab. Does anyone know more specifics? Btw, other photographs that need identifying can be found at User:DirkvdM/Photographs#Plants_and_Animals. Thanx. DirkvdM 11:23, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

>>>>> I believe that is an Ecuadorian land hermit crab, or C. Compressus. --Caaristiona (talk) 04:11, 1 February 2008 (UTC)


Yes is is a C. Compressus. I have access to a large collection of high quality hermit crab photos. I can upload some if you like. Post here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:34, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Why is the current photo a photo of a marine hermit crab? It would make more sense for it to be any of the land hermit crab species.

Coconut Crab?[edit]

I do believe that the coconut crab is not a kind of hermit crab, as this article suggests, but just a similar crab. It's genus is Birgus, not Coenoebita. Is this correct, or do I have something wrong? authraw 02:38, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

The coconut crab, Birgus latro, is indeed a hermit crab. It is in the same family (Coenobitidae) as the more typically shell-using terrestrial hermit crabs Coenobita. Newly settled Birgus occupy snail shells in the same manner as Coenobita, but eventually abandon the habit while still quite small. For more information, see:

Reese, E. S. 1968. Shell use: an adaptation for emigration from the sea by the coconut crab. Science 161: 385—386.

Reese, E. S.; Kinzie, R. A. III. 1968. Studies on decapod larval development: The larval development of the coconut or robber crab Birgus latro (L.) in the laboratory (Anomura, Paguridea). Crustaceana Supplement 2: 117—144. Clibanarius 15:26, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Question about lifespan and rate of growth[edit]

Thank you for the page. I was wondering if someone in the know could write something about how long hermit crabs live and the rate of growth. Thank you.

Stemonitis will not allow us to add that info, he continues to remove all information that we have added therefor the article will remoain the sole ownership of him and had made it obvious that no one is aloowed to edit it or improve it in anyway.

That's not true. You just need to remember that this is an encyclopaedia and not a pet owner's manual. Information about lifespan in the wild would be highly appreciated, particularly if it comes from a cited source. --Stemonitis 16:12, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Are They Endangered?[edit]

Hello, I was wondering if the hermit crabs are endangered?

I would think that an endangered species wouldn't be kept as a pet. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:16, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Species in Costa Rica?[edit]

Does anyone know?? (on the Pacific side). Please tell me, thanks. -- 05:59, 20 January 2007 (UTC) too lazy to login

People who insist on deleting other's contributions[edit]

Stemonitis , instead of deleting the gallery of images I uploaded, why don't you improve it if it's not up to your 'encylopedic' standards? Are you of the opinion that an image of a hermit crab is worthless if the Latin name isn't shown?

Wikipeidia is a SHARED effort. People contribute different parts. I have lots of images but I know little of the taxonomy of the creatures. Why don't you ADD knowledge and use your skills to improve the gallery by adding the names instead of deleting it? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Aquaimages (talkcontribs) 16:47, 21 April 2007 (UTC).


Hermit crabs, having no shells of their own, use discarded gastropod shells for protection agaisnt predators. Such as? 13:52, 6 July 2007 (UTC)RKH

cross-article agreement[edit]

The article on Carcinisation seems to state that, while there is a fair amount of evidence supporting the relation of Red King Crabs and Hermit Crabs, there is still some amount of debate over the matter. To what extent is this true? If there is a respectable amount of disagreement, it should probably be mentioned somewhere in this article as well; otherwise, the article on Carcinisation should be edited to reflect that. Inspector Baynes 15:37, 14 July 2007 (UTC)


What on earth is up with the current picture for the hermit crab? I'm going to assume it's vandalism, but I don't think I have enough expertise to replace it, and observe all the copyright rules. Vendretta 17:40, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

____- Why is the current photo a photo of a marine hermit crab? It would make more sense for it to be any of the land hermit crab species. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lolagran (talkcontribs) 23:42, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

claws falling off!!![edit]

My son just got a hermit crab and we have had him/her for about three weeks. Food and water are readily avalible to him and he seems to be eating.... but, his large claw has fallen off, and now there is another leg laying in the sand. Is this normal?? if not, what can I do about it or is he about to die??? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:16, August 23, 2007 (UTC)

Your questions are all solved. Take a look at this page. If you need more assistance post a question on my page. (talk) 17:47, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

claws falling off!!![edit]

my son has had a hermit crab for about three weeks and the claw has fallen off. also one of the legs has fallen off as well. Is this normal???? can I do anything about it.. 15:22, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Claws falling off is fairly normal, and it may take a while to grow back. they can lose them quite often when looking for a new shell. (talk) 19:34, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

How old do hermit crabs grow?[edit]

hermit crabs can live to be anywhere from 15 to 30 years old if the are in the wild of have a good home. If someone has the information, please add it to the wiki. Iam very interested in how old these creatures can grow, given they have optimal care. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:40, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Added (for Caribean crabs anyway) Mech Aaron (talk) 02:41, 10 September 2008 (UTC)


The link in the first paragraph for Columella goes nowhere. The link is to the Roman writer, and the link that is there for the genus gives little information about what a columella is. I think that the link should be either redirected or unlinked, but unfortunately do not have time today to find a better link. Would some kind individual do that research? 16:07, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

The answer to hermit crab lifespan & Falling Limbs[edit]

I have had hermit crabs for a year and a half now, I have three happy hermit crabs from Petsmart. I noticed that some of you wanted to know the lifespan of these critters. It's actually surprising, in the wild they can live up to 20 years, and in captivity, the average is 11 years, if properly taken care of. The reason for the falling limbs is simply the fact that they are molting. This process is necessary for them to grow. They shed their small limbs and turn a pinkish color. Please do not worry, all you must do is ( if you have more than one little guy) make a small isolation tank with all the necessities he might need, and leave him alone until he returns to his normal color and starts regrowth of new limbs. I hope that this answered some of your questions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:43, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Limbs falling off is NOT a normal part of a crabs molt cycle it is a sign of stress or disease. During a molt a crab sheds his entire exoskeleton, not one leg at a time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lolagran (talkcontribs) 23:43, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Hermit Crab Diet[edit]

People who have hermit crabs sometimes don't know what to feed them. A proper crab diet would be chopped carrots, salad, boughten food ( but I don't recommend boughten food, because they get tired of eating it all the time ) They love the freshness. Raw fish, chicken, beef, are all ok to give them. As long as you remove them the day after. If you forget to remove it, flies and hermit crab mites will infest your habitat.Please keep it small or they can't pinch any off. Weekly crab baths are strongly recommended for your hermits. You can buy hemrit crab salt and put it in a sink full of water. Submerge them for about 10 seconds and dry them in a small box with paper towels. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:34, 10 January 2008 (UTC) llll

Interesting picture[edit]

I just found an interesting picture portraying a hermit crab with a cup as its shell at ( The title of the page is "Tourists take away shells and leave trashes:Hermite crab on orchid island takes a cup as its home."(18:36pm EDT)Schpnhr (talk) 22:36, 18 June 2008 (UTC)


Wow, who would have guessed this page got so much vandalism??

I find something new every other week! Mech Aaron (talk) 02:57, 10 September 2008 (UTC)


I have a new class pet and his/ her name is Kiki. I wonder if it's a girl or a boy. Any hints? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:29, 28 November 2008 (UTC)


Shouldn't there some info about Hermit Crab Chirping. -- (talk) 17:36, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, but there needs to be some good quality sources to back it up.Mech Aaron (talk) 19:42, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Inaccurate info[edit]

--Sterwick (talk) 15:48, 6 August 2009 (UTC) On one of the care bullet points, there are the words 'Seperate moulting tank'. There has been lots of dispute amongst crab owners whether this should be done or not. This can cause stress and perhaps even death, and by doing this you are saying you know more about the crab than the crab- if you know what I am saying. But then again, doing this prevents cannibalism.

Reason for the name?[edit]

"This habit of living in a second hand shell gives rise to the popular name "hermit crab", by analogy to a hermit who lives alone." This sentance from the lead parapgraph seems somewhat contradictory, what on earth does using a 2nd hand shell have to do with living alone?

I'm no expert but I was always under the impression that hermit crabs got their name because hermits are stereotypically poor and have to scavange useful items discarded by people nearby because they can't afford to buy their own, which obviously parallels the crabs use of discarded shells. However as I said I'm not an expert so I don't want to just go ahead and change it. I have put a note in requesting a citation if one can be found for the original version and I'm putting this here to request a change if not. Danikat (talk) 20:36, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

my new pet hermy[edit]

hermy constantly goes deep within his/her (no idea of gender) shell leaving only a few legs and his dominant claw exposed, is this normal, or am I doing something wrong?? also will "playing" (moving,putting in hand,and taking it for walks) with hermy make it die sooner? also (again) how can I identify hermies species???--RIVERBabble at my brooks 19:14, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

There are lots of internet forums where you can discuss such issues. This page is (only) for talking about our encyclopaedia entry on hermit crabs. --Stemonitis (talk) 20:22, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Number of species[edit]

The intro says there are 1100 species of hermit crabs, but later in the article it says "about five hundred". Which is it? (talk) 20:50, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing that out. The true figure is 1100, as referenced to McLaughlin et al. (2010). The estimate of 500 must be quite an old one; I have taken it out. --Stemonitis (talk) 21:55, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

External link moved from article[edit]

I moved this from the article:

For more information visit

Jérôme (talk) 18:09, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

I am thinking of adding some more general information under the pet section like more types of food and shelter and information from a couple of sorces Gabsj54 (talk) 16:47, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

what are those colors at the top?[edit]

what are those colors at the top? Howlpumpkin27125 (talk) 20:37, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

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