My Hermie Losing Limbs?
are cases where one hermit crab will act aggressively towards
another hermit crab. It could be territorial or over a desired
shell. In the wild a hermit crab will "throw" a claw or leg
if another hermit crab tries to pull them out of their shell.
This is a responsive behaviour and their limbs are built in
a way that they are able to "drop" or "throw" a limb easily
so they may survive an attack. This is called Autotomy.
Shell Swap Behaviour:
one crab likes another's shell, say Crab A likes Crab B's shell,
Crab A will go up to Crab B's shell, knock its shell ( that
of Crab A) against the other crab's shell (Crab B), causing
the crab in the desired shell (Crab B) to come out and have
a look at what is going on. Now the first crab will try to pull
the second crab out of its shell by a cheliped or other limb.
The second crab will normally drop his cheliped(grasping claw)
or leg/s and retreat inside his shell, using his remaining cheliped
to protect himself. Preferring to loose a limb instead of loosing
from contaminated living conditions
are many stores that do not meet the needs of the land hermit crabs
they sell. If there is mould/mold, fungus, bacteria or pests inside
the tank, there is a chance that even with the best of care the
hermit crabs could die. In Australia it is a breach of pet store
'code of ethics' to sell a hermit crab that is suffering from disease,
illness or injury and they should seek prompt vetinary attention
for any animal in their care that is so affected. If you see such
a tank, talk nicely to the owner and recommend some hermit crab
care tips, or give them my number to contact me and I will send
them out an 'introduction' kit with caresheets, checklists, beginners
kit (food, treat, hc salt, water conditioner, mister bottle, 2 seasponges
and an iso unit. If after several attempts to reach the manager/owner
of the store is fruitless, either wring the RSPCA or contact
me by email and I will contact them on your behalf.
hermit crab tank has a mite infestation you will need to get rid
of them ASAP! Visit the
MITES page for more information
Fluctuating temperatures - it is important to keep the temperature
and humidity as stable as possible so as to keep your hermit
crabs from becoming stressed. Just as we feel uncomfortable
with the changes in environment (when there is a cold morning,
hot afternoon and cool evening etc) so do the hermit crabs.
As warm blooded humans, hen it gets hot, our bodies sweat
to cool down, and when it gets cold we shiver to get warm.
With hermit crabs when they get cold they become inactive
and go to sleep to preserve body warmth, or dig down to the
warmest section of the tank. When it is too hot they may come
out of their shells or hang near the water dish. A stable
temperature is the best method, perhaps with the use of a
thermostat or rheostat to keep it steady.
hermit crabs are stressed by environmental factors such as their
crabarium being: too hot, too cold, too humid or too dry then
they may lose limbs and slowly die. It is important to keep
your crabarium as close to the environment they are plucked
frm in the wild. That means recreating the tropics which as
we know means warmth and moisture.
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