Baby Hermit Crabs!
These little babies are fun to watch!
Hold on, is that a spider? No, this cute little guy is a baby hermit crab. These delicate creatures will spend their entire lives in the protection of a shell. And guess what? The shells aren’t even theirs! Hermit crabs begin their lives in the ocean, though you may have seen them in pet shops, or even in your house as a pet!
Female hermit crabs lay thousands of eggs! She carries her eggs as they mature, and the eggs change color from brick red to dark gray. The mother hatches her eggs in the ocean, and after undergoing some changes they eventually can survive on land.
Hermit crabs babies go through several stages in their early life. When they are laid down in the ocean they are known as zoea. In this stage of life, they look like larvae and sometimes are eaten by fish – yikes! In about a month, hermit crabs babies move into the second phase of their life, known as glaucothoe or magelops. At this stage, these babies develop legs and accessories. They are ready to begin their search for a shell, which will be their home. In the final stage they are known as a juvenile crab, and are able to stay on the coast, where they continue to grow.
After they go through all these stages, hermit crabs begin to resemble the rest of their kind. Most of them have a long, rolled belly that comprises the soft part of their body. In order to protect themselves from predators, they hide the soft part of their body in empty shells. They also have claws, one of which is always bigger than the other. The smaller claw they use for cleaning or eating, while the bigger one is used for defense.
Hermit crabs usually live in colonies of several hundred. They can live in the depths of the sea, in shallow reefs, or in tropical areas with access to water. Access to the ocean is necessary in order to continue the process of reproduction.
Hermit crabs can be kept as pets in your home. If you have a hermit crab pet, you need to keep an eye on him, provide larger shells for him to grow into, and take good care of him so he can decorate your aquarium for a long time!
Hermit Crab Care
Caring for a hermit crab is easy and can be very rewarding if done correctly. Hermit crabs need a habitat temperature of at least 75 degrees F. Without this warm, moist environment, they could die very quickly. Hermit crabs love to bury themselves deep in the sand or gravel, so ensure that they can fully cover themselves in the sand should they decide they want to escape reality for a while!
Unlike their name, hermit crabs shouldn’t be kept alone as pets. They are very social animals and love to climb and crawl over one another! Two hermit crabs make a good little family. House your friends in at least a 10 gallon aquarium with sand and a light if needed. Hermit crabs love to climb and play with toys! They will enjoy some driftwood, flower pots or plastic plants. Just ensure that the habitat is escape proof!
Try feeding them a hermit crab food from your local pet store and don’t forget to substitute your baby hermit crab’s diet with treats such as fresh tropical fruits, veggies of all kinds or select meats that are dry and lack any spices.
Hermit Crab Facts – Facts about Hermit Crabs
• Hermit crabs are actually very social animals
• They sleep in piles and climb over each other as play
• Hermit crabs can live anywhere from 15-40 years
• The Caribbean hermit crab is the most popular species