Over a decade ago, long before ever adopting a cat, I joined the ranks of the Crab Mama, we who raise hermit crabs. I made a crabitat and everything! As someone who had wanted to make something like a terrarium since I was very small, I was very pleased having the opportunity to do this. It’s the closest to raising bugs I’ve ever been, and also the closest to having an IRL Tamagotchi!
Current Crabs: Honeydew & Lemongrass
Adopted in the late summer of 2020, my current crab couple, Honeydew and Lemongrass, are nearly indistinguishable purple pinchers since they thankfully eschewed their painted shells shortly after. I know that one of them is much more skittish and isn’t a fan of being held, but neither of them are very pinchy. Like my past crabbies, they’re also very fond of sweets and snacks! Perhaps a little too fond…
I miss you… Rambler & DUSTY DIO
These crabs unfortunately passed away shortly before a move several years back now. Dio, with reddish eyes, is on the right. Rambler, refusing to come out of his too-small shell in favor of the many larger ones, is on the right. Both are pretty hot-footed!
Rambler was someone who knew how to get along on his own but didn’t mind the presence of others. Named Rambler for his very healthy and frequent amount of movement (and speed!), I had him from summer 2010 through autumn 2018. Judging by his size, he could have been over 20 years old!
Dusty Dio was his friend of three summers, a very ravenous and amicable crab.
I’d actually never seen Rambler interact with another crab as much as Dusty — and he’d had quite a few roommates — so their friendship made me very happy!
The Crabitat, of Course
I enjoy creative terrarium spaces! Making them is pretty fun, too. Here’s the setup:
My more recent crabs have always enjoyed climbing around noisily at night, so I’ve provided them with the perfect playground for that purpose! I’ve since changed the light, which is now on a timer. I hope to one day be able to set up a water filtration system in a larger tank for more crabs!
While I’ve had Honeydew and Lemongrass for years now, unfortunately not all the crabs I’ve had have made it. Here’s to you, beloved snipper clippers of the past…
- Dusty Dio
I should have taken pictures of you while I had the chance. :'( Rest well, crab angels.
Here are some of the resources I used to try to make my hermit crab comfortable:
- National Geographic
- Winnebago County Animal Services
- A wild hermit crab BBC Earth video that I love
Hermit crabs are cool pets — and they require a lot of care! Make sure they’re nice and comfy temperature-wise, keep their cage humid, and they’ll thrive!