Most hermit crabs are born as females, and most of them remain so, even if they live with other crabs of the opposite sex.
The hermit crab’s a bit of a mystery when it comes to identifying its sex.
It has two sets of claws, but what do they look like? And if the claws don’t reveal much about its gender, the hermit crab has an unusual appendage called the pleopod that does.
How can you tell which one is male and which is female? This article will show you the answer.
- 3 Easy Ways To Know a Hermit Crabs Gender
- How Can You Tell a Male From a Female Hermit Crab?
- Can You Mix Hermit Crabs?
- How Can You Tell How Old a Hermit Crab Is?
- How Can You Tell If a Hermit Is Crab Is Dying?
3 Easy Ways To Know a Hermit Crabs Gender
If you are the owner of a hermit crab, you will be surprised to know that the gender is not easy to identify.
There are some things about the hermit crab which can help in identifying the sex of the hermit crabs.
They have three main characteristics which help in knowing the sex of the hermit crabs.
Size Of The Shell
The first thing which helps you to identify the sex of the hermit crab is the shell. The male has a smaller shell than the female.
The most important thing to consider when you are going to identify the sex of the hermit crab is the shell.
If the shell is small, it’s a male. If the shell is large, it’s a female.
The other thing to keep in mind is that hermit crabs are quite territorial. You should never touch one of these animals.
You could hurt them, and that’s why they are so protective. Hermit crabs are very social, and they enjoy being with people.
It’s good to talk to them, but make sure not to get too close.
You can also observe their movements. Hermit crabs prefer to stay still. If you put them on your hand, you will notice that they don’t move much.
They are not used to moving around that much, and they might even be afraid of it.
Coloration Of The Legs and Body
The second thing is that the hermit crabs have different colorations on their legs and bodies.
The males have white or yellowish-white legs and a yellowish body whereas the females have red or pinkish-red legs and a reddish-orange or -pinkish-yellowish body.
The hermit crabs’ colors are determined by their sex.
Males have dark-colored legs and bodies, while females have light-colored legs and bodies.
The hermit crabs are often mistaken as a type of lobster because of the similarities between the two.
They are both from the same family, so the difference in coloration is not a huge deal.
Watch The Length Of Their Claws
The third characteristic is the length of the hermit crab’s claws. The males have much longer claws than the females.
To be able to tell the gender of a hermit crab, you have to see how long its claws are. Males have long claws, while females have short claws.
The length of the claw can also help to distinguish between the two sexes.
The length of the male’s claws is usually twice as long as those of the female.
It’s not easy to distinguish the gender of hermit crabs because their bodies are small and look similar.
The hermit crabs come in different colors like white, black, and brown. The males are usually more colorful than the females.
How Can You Tell a Male From a Female Hermit Crab?
By the claws, of course. Males have larger and more elaborate claw markings on their front claws than females.
And just in case you’re wondering, yes, it is true that a male hermit crab will aggressively defend its turf against other males.
When it comes to identifying a male hermit crab, it’s important to understand that their gender is determined by the size of their front claws.
This makes sense because the larger the claw, the bigger and stronger the male is.
So, if you want to know if a male or a female hermit crab is present, just look for the size of the claw.
But, there is something else you can do. You can also find out if a male hermit crab is present by looking at the color of the crab’s shell.
If the shell is red or orange, the crab is a female. As discussed above.
How Can You Tell What Kind Of Hermit Crab You Have?
To help you decide what kind of hermit crab you have, here are some characteristics to look for:
If it’s a blue hermit crab, it will always be on the bottom of the tank.
If it’s a green hermit crab, it will spend most of its time on the edge of the tank or hanging out in the corner.
If it’s a yellow hermit crab, it will scurry around the top half of the tank, but avoid the middle third.
If it’s an orange hermit crab, it will spend most of its time in the middle of the tank.
If it’s a red hermit crab, it will spend all of its time on the bottom third of the tank.
And lastly, if it’s a white hermit crab, it will spend all of its time on the top third of the tank.
Can You Put Male and Female Hermit Crabs Together?
Hermit crabs are popular pets, and it can be fun to watch them interact.
But they do have a very interesting mating ritual.
After the male has mated with one of the females in his group, he moves on.
He may even mate with another female later in life, but he’s not interested in the company of her offspring.
The female, however, is completely attached to her offspring. She’s always ready to protect her eggs and her young.
Even if the male is nearby, she will not leave her brood for him. This is because there’s always another brood to tend.
So it is okay to keep male and female hermit crabs together in case you want to mate them.
Can You Mix Hermit Crabs?
Yes, and they don’t just mix, they mate.
That’s why it’s called a hermit crab – and it is an important life lesson.
When I was a kid, my dad told me that, when two hermit crabs were together, they would make love. “Like a husband and wife,” he said.
I had a hard time believing that because I was a kid, but then he explained that, because their shells were so big, it was actually difficult for them to have sex.
Are Female Hermit Crabs Bigger Than Males?
After looking at hundreds of female and male hermit crab pictures, scientists have confirmed that male hermit crabs are significantly bigger than females.
This difference in size is due to the fact that males can grow up to 2.5 times larger than females.
Male hermit crabs also have much more muscle mass and bigger eyes, which help them to see better in the dark.
Can You Introduce New Hermit Crabs To Each Other?
The introduction of a new species to an area is a common way to start the process of evolution, says Dr. Hensley.
“New hermit crabs usually make their first appearance in a new area when the previous population dies off. They then evolve as the ecosystem changes around them.”
This means that introducing new species to new environments is often a good way to get a new species to adapt and thrive.
In the case of introducing a new hermit crab species to a new ecosystem, the hermit crabs must first be introduced to each other.
How Many Hermit Crabs Should Live Together?
We’re all used to hermit crabs. They live together. They fight. They eat each other.
But that’s just what they do. If you put them all together in one bowl, they all die. It’s a bit of a disaster.
A group of hermit crabs will do better if they spread out a little. The same goes for hermit crabs in a pond.
You need a group of 10-20 crabs to be happy and healthy. In the wild, hermit crabs will typically live together in groups of about six to eight.
Do Hermit Crabs Bully Each Other?
The answer is yes, sometimes. Aggression between hermit crabs is common and even encouraged.
It can be helpful in establishing dominance hierarchies within a group.
When two hermit crabs fight, the one that starts it usually doesn’t stop fighting until one of the two is dead.
Sometimes the survivor will just curl up into a ball and wait for the other crab to leave so he can continue on with his life.
This type of behavior is often observed in people who are in relationships that have reached the point of no return.
How Can You Tell How Old a Hermit Crab Is?
In case you don’t live near the ocean, here’s a way to tell how old a hermit crab is without having to wait till it molts: Observe the growth rings on its shell.
Older shells have more growth rings, hence the age. This is true of many things in nature.
Trees, for example, have rings around the trunks of their branches that reveal how old the tree is.
The rings get larger the older the tree, hence the name “growth rings.”
Hermit crabs also have growth rings around their shells, which are called “molt marks.”
These growth rings are the same as those found on trees.
You can easily figure out a hermit crab’s age by looking at the growth rings on its shell.
However, you should know that the growth rings in a hermit crab’s shell are much easier to see than the growth rings in a tree because the growth rings are much wider.
What Is The Lifespan Of a Hermit Crab?
What makes a hermit crab so fascinating, besides the fact that they are completely harmless and make great pets, is their ability to live a long life.
Hermit crabs can live as long as 30 years, but more than half of all adult specimens are believed to die within the first five years of their lives.
The primary reason for this is a shortage of space and limited food supply, which in turn leads to malnutrition.
How Fast Do Hermit Crabs Grow?
It’s not clear exactly how fast hermit crabs grow, but one thing is for sure: they grow quickly.
When hatched, hermit crabs can be less than one inch long, and a year later they can be as large as three inches.
But the growth is a little more complicated than that.
The babies are born with a shell that has only two of the three pairs of legs that adult hermits have.
The first pair of legs to appear is usually the most flexible, and it’s the pair they use most when exploring.
A study in the American Journal of Zoology found that hermit crabs grow at an average rate of 0.3 millimeters (mm) per year, which isn’t as fast as many other arthropods.
But, if you’re counting days or weeks, it’s pretty quick—they’ve been recorded reaching over 30 mm in just a few weeks.
They don’t have a fixed lifespan, either; they live up to 10 years in the wild. And they’re quite social, often hanging out in colonies together.
Can Hermit Crabs Have Babies Without a Female?
What? No! That’s not how hermits crabs reproduce.
If a female crab falls in love with a male, she will allow him to mount her.
Then, if he has a “winning” spermatozoon, it will penetrate her ovum and the fertilized egg will develop into a larva and then a fully-grown hermit crab.
How Many Babies Do Hermit Crabs Have at Once?
While the number of eggs hermit crabs can produce is unknown, researchers think the species produces a lot more than the five to ten typically reported by hobbyists.
With more time on their hands to develop, these crab species might be capable of producing thousands of eggs, potentially allowing them to produce more offspring than their wild relatives.
How Can You Tell If a Hermit Is Crab Is Dying?
There are some signs that your hermit crab is sick or dying.
If you notice any of the following, you need to do something about it immediately:
The crab is shivering or shaking.
It’s not moving around, and it seems stuck to something or is in a tight corner.
Its shell has darkened.
It’s losing its legs and antennae.
If you’re concerned for its health, call your veterinarian.
Naturally, you should never let your pet out of your sight.
Even if it appears fine, don’t take any chances.
A sick crab can become much weaker very quickly, and it could fall off the shelf if you move it. If this happens, your pet will almost certainly die.
In conclusion, the female hermit crabs are slightly smaller and carry their tails in a “cocoon” over their backs.
The male hermit crabs have a much longer claw on their first two pairs of legs.
They also attempt to impress the opposite sex by performing acrobatic somersaults in the sand when they are excited or happy.
If you want to learn more about hermit crabs, how to identify their genders, or what they do when they are happy, you can read my other blog post.
I hope this article was helpful to you. Please share it with others so they, too, can enjoy these little creatures.