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hermit crabs switched shells. funny story (to me anyways).


Nov 26, 2008
this past weekend i went to the coast. it was cold and windy, so i decided to go fishing. one time after dropping my line next to the pier and reeling back up, i pulled up some brown/black seaweed stuff. i took a look at it, noticed a few what i assumed to be some species of pod and a hermit crab. i thought the hermit crab would make a nice addition to the little 3gal nano that sits next to my couch. so out came the tupperware and i made a little home for the hermit so he could survive the night and the 4hr trip home the next day.

sunday afternoon i get home and i drop the hermit in to the tank. he seems to acclimate fine and quickly goes to exploring.

theres been a blue leg hermit in the tank ever since its been set up. since mid december or so i think. hes had the same shell since he was in the larger tank before it was an octo tank.

so today i get home, i look in the tank, and i notice that the blue leg and the new hermit have flip flopped shells. :lol:

it makes you wonder if they can communicate somehow, to me anyways. if one over powered the other, or how exactly the transaction went down. id like to think it was a mutual decision and that they can communicate on some level. :smile:

i also went walking on the beach (sound beach to be exact) and found pieces of algae/plant/seaweed attached to assorted shells. one of them looks to be an older oyster shell and has some feather duster type organisms on it and another is a good size conch. my gf was jealous she didnt find that one first. :razz: anyways, just thought it was funny about the crabs. i laughed when i saw it. :oops:
I have seen blue legs leave and try out new shells (sometimes to return to their originals) and it is a shame you missed watching the swap as it is an interesting process when they change in itself, the swap would have been well worth filming.
Actually, your hermit crabs changing shells was an aggressive act. May I suggest you get a few shells of similar size (a few slightly larger, a few slightly smaller, a few the same size) for your crabs to choose from? If you don't have shells for them, you may one day find one of your crabs pulled out of his shell and dead because the other decided he wanted the other shell back. Often hermit crabs will die rather than give up their shell. If not dead, you may find one with missing leg parts, etc. due to the shell fight. Hermit crabs need to be able to change their shells as they grow, so give them a variety! :smile: