"Purple Pincers"

Coenobita clypeatus

Distinguished by a large crab that has a purple to bluish color to it.

Their legs are various colors, but we normally see them in reddish and brown tones. They are the most common of the species available here. The purplish claw sets them aside from the others. They have beady looking eyes and their legs seem to fold into the shell when retracted.

It is recommended that PP's are given access to weak saline solution as they will drink it if offered. A good method is to have two water dieshes -- one with fresh water and the other with Instant Ocean or other Synthetic Sea Salt solution. For more information visit the Water FAQ


"Reds" Variation

Supposedly a rare variation of Coenobita clypeatus, although they could be a slightly different species. Reds are a deep red to a light orange in color.

Reds have the same characteristics as the pp's except the red tones are all over including their large claw.

Some say that the red colouring is due to diet and location where these rare and attractive hermit crabs are found. If you have any references on this type of crab, please email me.


More Information about C. clypeatus found here

Photo of Melissa's Hermit Crab, Noodle - a very curious Ecuadorian Hermit Crab

"E's" or "Ecuadorians"

Coenobita compressus

Come in all colors, tones, shades and they are little 'speed demons'!

They are SO VERY ACTIVE and run in all directions at once! They can go as fast backwards as they can frontwards or to either side.
"E's" are more easily noted by their larger and elongated eyes (as opposed to the tiny beady eyes of the previous two)

Their legs seem to cross over their large claw as opposed to the folding of the others. They seem to prefer very natural shells and do not usually change shells as often as the others. Some say their large claw is more triangular than the others and that their legs look more muscular.

Hermit Crabs need a trace of saline in their water, easily obtainable by adding a tablespoon of Instant Ocean to a quart of hermie-friendly water to a pond or waterdish in addition to a fresh water dish within your tank.

More information on Ecuadorian land hermit crabs found here


Thanks to Crablover Don's words above, I learned about the different types of land hermit crabs in the United States. Read more of his wise words of wisdom here

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