Hermit Crabs are the latest in small pets.  They are cute, small, and fairly easy to care for.  Because of these factors there has been an uprising in hermit crab purchasing all over the United States.  This site is designed in helping you pick your hermit crab and in help of keeping him alive.  If you ever have a problem and can no longer care for your pet, please contact us immediately so that we can find him a new home.  There are lots of people out there that will take your pet in and care for him.

There are many different kinds of hermit crabs.  Three of which you can visit their pages for more information.  Hermit crabs can live up to forty years if taken care of properly.  They can also become fairly large. Hermit crabs are found in the southern hemisphere, usually near beaches and heavy vegetation.  The beaches provide a food source and the vegetation a cool place to hide during the day. 

Hermit crabs were named such because they live in a shell discarded by, usually, a snail.  They are NOT hermits at all.  You will usually find hundreds of the little guys traveling together in packs looking for food.  Hermit crabs are on the eternal quest for a new shell.  When one finds a new shell you can bet that the rest in the pack will soon start changing and trying on everyone else's clothes. There is usually very little bullying and everyone gets along.

Hermit crabs have a soft body inside the shell and can be hurt if he falls from a great distance.  The shell he wears is designed to help protect him from harm in the wild and does a very good job.  As a pet, he is susceptible to internal injuries if you are not careful with him.  The outer part of his body is covered by an exoskeleton.  This means his bones are on the outside of his body instead of inside.  About once a year your hermit crab will molt, meaning, he will dig down into the subtrate and shed his exoskeleton.  After shedding he will eat it to get back the calcium he lost during the molt.  Slowly he will gain back his strength and eventually come back to the surface a bigger crab.

Hermit crabs breathe through modified gills and need the humidity found in the southern hemisphere to live.  They cannot swim and cannot breathe in the water.  Too much humidity will drown them and too little will suffocate them. Please visit our Care Sheet section for a list of do's and don'ts to keep your little friend alive and happy.

Hermit crabs are scavengers and thrive on the food that hits the ground or is washed up on shore.  Outfitted with two pinchers, one large and one small, the crab will break food up with the larger claw and use the smaller one to insert the food into his mouth.  The larger claw is called a crusher. 

Hermit crabs are nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day and play at night.  Until you get used to the noise they make, you may find it hard to sleep at night with all the racket they can make.  They hide in the vegetation to keep cool during the day when the sun can bake them right out of their little shell.  Your new pet is very curious and will explore everything, in the middle of the night.  Do Not leave your hermit crab in the sun.  You will kill him.  Always make sure there are plenty of places to hide during the day.  If your crabitat is located near a window that gets sunlight, make a point to buy plenty of caves and places your crab can go to keep cool.

For more information please visit Christa's site or The Florida Marine Research Center.  Both sites have great information on the care for hermit crabs and links to other sites with great information.  I have found that the best information comes with common sense.  A hermit crab is a wonderful pet, but it is a wild animal that you now have in captivity. 

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