Our Pet of the Month for July AND August is the hermit crab! While not a reptile, this crustacean is a very popular and easy-to-care for pet choice.
Despite their name, land hermit crabs are very social. They are non-aggressive and not bothered with handling. They are also quite intelligent and inquisitive. Hermit crabs carry no diseases, are neat and clean, and do not require much living space.
Fun Facts about Hermit Crabs
1. Hermit crabs are crustaceans belonging to the superfamily Paguroidea. There are 7 different families and about 1100 species of hermit crabs living in many places around the world.
2. They have jointed limbs, claws, a hard exoskeleton, eyes on stalks, and two sets of antennae.
3. These unique soft-bodied creature are more closely-related to lobsters than crabs.
4. Terrestrial or "land hermit crabs" are more active at night and spend their days hiding from the sun. These are the type kept as pets.
5. They need friends! Despite their name, hermit crabs are social animals and ideally need to be in pairs or groups.
6. Unlike other crabs that make their own shells, hermit crabs seek shelter in the empty shells of other animals.Their shell is both their armor and their home, and they are are always on the lookout for new shells to accommodate their growing size.
7. Hermies are not picky eaters! They are omnivores and will scavenge for whatever plant or animal matter is available.
8. Both marine and land hermit crabs use gills for breathing. Land hermit crabs require very humid air (with at least 70% of humidity) to survive. Despite well-developed gills, land hermit crabs cannot breathe under the water.
9. Hermit crabs vary greatly in size; however, the average adult size is between 2-6 inches long.
10. With proper care and in a suitable "crabitat," your pet hermies can live 10 years or longer!
Hermit Crabs as Pets
The fact that hermit crabs are inexpensive, readily available, and fairly easy to take care of have long made them a popular choice as pets. Unfortunately, in many instances this translates into "disposable pet". The reality is that hermit crabs are much more than a beach vacation novelty item. They are capable of responding to their owners in unique ways and with proper care can live many years!
If you are considering getting a few hermit crabs, it’s important to have all the supplies you need such as housing, accessories, and food. This will ensure that your hermit crabs have an easy and healthy transition to your care.
Our Hermit Crab Setup and Care guide and video tutorials provide helpful tips to keep your pet happy and healthy. Topics covered include enclosure, substrate, accessories, temperature, lighting, diet, nutrition, growth, behavior, handling, and safety.
Hermit Headquarters Specialty Shop
To properly care for hermit crabs, it is important that their natural environment is replicated as closely as possible. Our specialty product line, Hermit Headquarters, upgrades and broadens the selection of products currently available in the market and provides everything necessary for hermit crabs to live long healthy lives.