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FAQs about Hermit, Anomuran Crab Identification 4

Related Articles: Hermit Crabs, Crabs, Marine Scavengers, Fresh to Brackish Crabs,

Related FAQs: Hermit ID 1, Hermit IDs 2, Hermit IDs 3, & Hermit Crabs 1, Hermit Crabs 2, Hermit Crabs 3, Hermit Behavior, Hermit Compatibility, Hermit Selection, Hermit Systems, Hermit Feeding, Hermit Reproduction, Hermit Disease/Health,

FAQs: By species: Calcinus laevimanus (Zebra, Left-handed Hermit) Clibanarius tricolor (Blue-Legs), Clibanarius vittatus (a common Gulf of Mexico hermit crab), Dardanus megistos Shell-Breaking Reef, White-spot, Fuzzy Leg Hermit Crab), Paguristes cadenati (Scarlet, Red-Legged), Petrochirus diogenes (and other Giant Hermit Crabs), &

Anemone Hermits, Sponge/Staghorn/Coral house Hermits, Unknown/Wild-collected,& Land Hermit Crabs, Squat Lobsters, Micro-Crustaceans, Amphipods, Copepods, Mysids, Hermit Crabs, Shrimps, Cleaner Shrimps, Banded Coral Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, Anemone Eating Shrimp, Marine Scavengers, Crustacean Identification, Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction

Hermit ID     12/24/13
Hey, I was wondering if you could help me out with the ID of this hermit crab (not my picture). I think it might be a Dardanus?
 A shove into the right direction like the correct genus would be nice if possible at least.
Daniel Martin
<Nice pic...
Bob Fenner>

Re: Hermit ID    12/25/13
Hmm, he doesn't seem to match any of the species listed on that page.
<Oh come on now; with those gorgeous yellow eye stalks? Look up the genus Paguristes. BobF>
Re: Hermit ID   12/25/13

Gahhhh that's a much larger genus to delve into... Meanwhile, I combed through the Dardanus genus... Not many color pictures out there for most of the species. And info in general is lacking. But I did find a picture that is very similar: Dardanus australis (attached). You think this might be the species?
<What the?! Do you know where your Hermit was collected? I had made it out to be P. cadenati. B>

Re: Hermit ID   12/26/13
Nah, take a closer look. This guy is hairy as HECK.  P. cadenati is as smooth as a baby's bottom. It can't possibly be P. cadenati, right?
<... possibly. A common species...>

What kind is he and how should I care for him ASAP???  Hermit ID...      9/28/13
My fiancé and I were walking the beach in Orange Beach, Alabama. There are huge rocks that sort of block the way for the boats to travel out. These rocks are HUGE and we were brave enough to walk to the other side of them.
There were tiny barnacles everywhere along with about 10-15 beautiful shells. My fiancé grabbed one up and realized it was a hermit crab.
Thinking it was a normal hermit,
<Which are fully aquatic.>
I kept him and was so happy to have been able to find our own. The only thing I am concerned about is the fact that he was UNDER the water when we found him along with all the others.
<Indeed. Relatively few are amphibious, and only a handful terrestrial.
That said, because you collected this specimen in the surf zone, where water is a few inches deep much of the time, you could have either an aquatic one or an amphibious one.>
Completely submerged. It's been 2 days and he's still alive and starting to not be as shy. I have him in a 10 gallon tank but I don't know if that's what I should be doing considering the fact that he was underwater. He doesn't have the big fat pinchers like the ones I've had before either.
They are smaller and more narrow and red around the outside black on the inside.
<Sounds like a Clibanarius species; relatively common along the subtropical Atlantic coastline of the US. Look for Clibanarius vittatus online to get an idea of what one common species in the genus looks like. Clibanarius tricolor is another common species, though more associated with the Caribbean.
Both are fully aquatic and much kept in aquaria.>
Any information as soon as possible would be so very appreciated. I do love my animals and if this habitat is not proper I would really love to know.
Thank you much, Victoria
<A local marine biologist will probably be better at identifying the precise species you have. If in doubt, lower the waterline a bit, pile some rocks up, and see if the Hermit crawls out at all. If it does, then there's your answer! Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Hermit identification.    5/17/13
Hi its me again i forgot to attach  photos in the first email.
<... 11.6 megs? See our file size limit requirement. Your files have been auto-deleted>
I ordered some crabs online and got some hitchhikers instead of part of my order. They don't seem to cause trouble needles to say I'm wondering if one of them was the cause of some scarlet and white leg crabs arriving dead.
Are this guys ok for a reef tank? Is there a general characteristic to look for  in hermits that will tell you if they are reef safe or not?
<None are absolutely. Posted on WWM>
That's the four that I got as hitchhikers. Not sure if they are safe for a reef tank.
Also I got about 30 small blue legs I added to my tank, about 1/2" in size.
How many shells and what size do I need to get to keep my snail safe? thanks for all the help.
<... an assortment of sizes... more than the number of hermits. Bob Fenner>
Re: Hermit identification.    5/17/13

<.... see WWM... not megs. Get a computer perhaps>
It must have been a glitch in the phone it told me that the size was 3 Meg's or so when I was sending it. Here are the pics again.
I read the article on the wwm, but I figured that you can give me a definite answer. I know mostly I'm worried that it might grow up big an mess with other inhabitants. And catching a hermit crab in a tank that has 100lb of live rock is a pain. That's why I want to have an experts opinion on what these are. I would hate to have to flush the poor bastards i could not figure out if they are safe and I got no one I can give them to.
Re: Hermit identification.    5/17/13

I assumed that it was per picture as in several pictures can be bigger than that. Here is the severely downsized version but I'm not sure if it would be a good enough quality.
<Uhh, read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hermitidf4.htm
Search before writing us. B>

  see below

Hermit Crab and Nudibranch: Clibanarius cruentatus and Aeolidiella alba, IDs, comp. – 11/13/12
> Hi,
> <Hello, Lynn here this morning.>
> I recently brought 2 'Mexican algae hermit crabs' that were supposed to be reef safe, one of them I cannot identify the species... Any idea?
> <Yep, it appears to be Clibanarius cruentatus, aka the “Spotted Black Hermit crab”, which is in the family Diogenidae (left-handed hermits). Whether this species is completely “reef-safe” depends on your definition of the term. Hermits are typically omnivorous but can have tendencies toward being either more herbivorous or carnivorous.  What's important is that if/when their preferred food dwindles, and they get hungry enough, they will likely “sample” whatever else is available. Bottom line: keep an eye on any and all hermits - even those labeled as reef-safe, algae-eaters, or herbivores.  That is, watch what they tend to eat, make sure they have enough, and monitor for any damage to livestock.  It’s a good idea to supplement their food with meaty bits of marine origin, sinking pellets, and/or bits of Nori (dried seaweed sheets).  Please see the following link for more information and photos regarding Clibanarius cruentatus: http://www.wildsingapore.com/wildfacts/crustacea/othercrust/anomura/hermit/spottedblack.htm 
> More information on hermits here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/crabs/hermitcrabs.htm?h=  >
> Also found a Nudibranch on my live rock which I cannot identify.  He doesn't seem to have touched my corals.
> <That’s good to “hear”/read but do keep an eye on them as sometimes the damage isn't immediately apparent. You have what appears to be a species known as Aeolidiella alba (family Aeolidiidae). If you can get a close look at the base of the rhinophores (the knobby-looking appendages just behind the head), you should see either a fine reddish line, ring, or splotch (see photos at links below for comparison). Also reported, is this species’ odd appearance during locomotion as it “waves” or “jerks” its cerata (appendages along the back) back and forth.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to locate any information regarding the animal’s diet, but rest assured, it’s a carnivorous predator. These Nudibranchs tend to hitchhike on or near their food source so if your individual arrived on a recent coral addition, I’d remove it asap, and keep an eye out for others.
> Please see the following links for photos and more information:  http://www.seaslugforum.net/showall/aeolalba
> http://seaslugsofhawaii.com/species/Aeolidiella-alba-a.html 
> More information on Aeolids here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/MolluscPIX/Gastropods/Opistobranchs%20Sea%20Slugs/Nudibranchs/nudibran5.htm?h= 
> Take care,
> -Lynn Z>

Re: Hermit Crab and Nudibranch: Clibanarius cruentatus and Aeolidiella alba – 11/13/12
<You’re very welcome.>
..he came with my live rock which had 1 single Zoa and a single mushroom as hitchhikers. I let the rock cycle and he is still alive and the Zoa and mushroom are fine so I don't know what he could have been eating to live.
<Based on what seems to be the common theme within this family, I’d say a Cnidarian of some sort. Every Aeolidiella species that I was able to find diet-related information regarding, listed one/several varieties of anemone as being their prey of choice. Interestingly enough, other genera within the family (Aeolidiidae) listed hydroids and Palythoa in addition to anemones so that adds to the list of possibilities. Whatever the prey, it’s possible that there may still be some small/hidden individuals left that are sustaining your Nudi. On the flipside, if it has already gone through the food supply, you will likely see the animal roaming about the tank for a short while, then one day it’ll just disappear. Take care, Lynn Z>
Re: Ahh, excellent as always. B – 11/13/12

Thanks Bob, it was a pleasant surprise to see that query in the inbox this morning.  I check in every day, looking for ID's but must be missing them.  
At any rate, it's always a pleasure to see what neat little critters end up in people's systems!
Take care and thanks again,

Hermit Crab ID – 6/21/12
<Hello Laura, Lynn here today.>
I have searched several sites, and at several LFS's for an ID on this Hermit Crab.  I have gotten conflicting results that upon further research don't seem to fit this guy.  It is currently residing in an approx. 3/4" turbo snail shell that it "removed" the snail from. 
<Was the snail already dead or did the hermit kill it?  Either way, be sure to offer a few (empty) shells for the hermit to use as it outgrows the smaller ones.>
It is brownish in color, left-clawed,
<Good, we can start looking into the family Diogenidae for potential candidates.>
…orange antennae, blue eyes, and has a bright orange stripe centered on the front of its legs.  It does not appear to be overly hairy.  Please see attached photo.
<Thanks, do you know where the hermit came from/originated?  The closest I can find at the moment are two species in the genus Calcinus, but both have black eyes instead of blue.  Please see the following links for comparison but bear in mind that color can vary to a surprising degree within each species:  C. californiensis:  http://biomar.free.fr/calcinus/images/calcinus_californiensis.jpg 
C. tibicen: http://reefguide.org/carib/orangeclawhermit.html 
More information regarding hermits in general: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/crabs/hermitcrabs.htm >
<You’re very welcome.>
<Take care, Lynn Z>

Please ID This Crab for Me: Large Hermit – 5/22/12
Would you please ID this crab for me? 
<I’ll certainly give it a try.>
He is from the Keys.  He is in a shell approx. 4" long
<It appears to be from a Tulip snail (Fasciolaria spp.)>
...and his legs are at least 2.5/3" long
<Yikes, that’s a sizeable hermit!>
-- deep orange w/black erratic stripes on legs. 
When I Google “red hermit crabs” no images show up with black stripes on legs. 
<I’m having trouble as well.  I’ve looked through my research books, and on the web, but cannot find a match.  In order to narrow the field a bit, I’d need more information starting with the claws.  If they’re still present (or if you can recall), are/were they the same size or noticeably unequal?  If unequal, which was larger, the right or left?>   
Also, can he live in my reef tank (underwater) with no rock above water to climb out onto?
<I’d need to know which species it is before I could answer with any certainty.  It would help to know where the animal was collected.  If you picked it up, was it above-water on dry sand, on the beach or maybe a jetty in the tidal/surf zone, or below it entirely?  If it was below, how far out from the beach?  If, however, you bought the hermit at a pet store, was it kept underwater or in a beach/terrarium-type system? 
What’s important to note is that keeping large hermits in reef systems can be problematic.  First of all, these are opportunistic omnivores and scavengers with big appetites.  If they get hungry enough, they will go after whatever they can grab and eat, including fishes and other invertebrates.  Beyond that, they’re not exactly dainty when it comes to moving about.  They have an unfortunate tendency to knock things loose and rearrange aquascapes.  The bottom line is that even if this is a full-on reef hermit, it’s a risk.   Larger hermits are better suited to either species-specific or large fish-only systems stocked with active/aware fishes.  For more information and photos, please see Bob’s hermit section: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/crabs/hermitcrabs.htm >
Thank you for your help.
<You’re very welcome. Take care, Lynn Z>

A beauty! 

Re: Please ID This Crab for Me: Large Hermit - 5/26/12
<Hello Beverly!>
Lynn, thank you for your interest in trying to solve the 'mystery crab' issue for us. 
<No problem, I just wish I could have given you a concrete ID.>
The crab is alive and has been in my son's reef tank for only 2 wks. 
He was obtained in the Fl. Keys.....between Key West and Marathon......from the ocean......about 4-5 ft. from the rocky shoreline, underwater.  It has such pretty markings
<It does indeed.>
 - the lines on its legs, etc.  Two front legs are at least 2.5" long...maybe 3".  If any of this info can help or this new photo I've sent.
<I wish it were so but unfortunately, despite additional research, I cannot identify it.>
I want to make sure it can live completely underwater
<I think it’ll be fine.>
(my son has not fixed anything for it to crawl out onto) and the only thing in his tank is a large piece of live rock, for now.  It is only a 20 gallon long, tank so he's thinking he can only have 2 fish and wondering if the crab will eat them. 
<If it gets hungry enough it may at least try.>
He's feeding it frozen miso <Mysis?> shrimp presently which it readily eats.
<You could also offer it bits of table shrimp, fish, clam, or squid.>
It managed to crawl up and out of the tank a few days ago, using the long pipe from the water filter and fell onto the floor. 
<Yowza, that’s a good way to end up as a dog or cat toy/treat!>
Luckily we found it and it recovered once back in the tank.
<It could well be an intertidal species, accustomed to being in and out of the water.>
We need to figure out some type of cover (screen? or something)
He has LED lights on the tank that change colors. 
<Sounds pretty>
Thank you for any help you can offer. 
<You’re very welcome; again, I’m just sorry that I couldn’t help with the ID!>
I 'Googled' 'hermit crabs' and so many images came up but none looked like this one. 
<Yep, I had the same issue, with search engines and various books.>
<Take care, Lynn Z>
Follow-up Re: Re: Please ID This Crab for Me: Large Hermit  -  5/26/12

Error:  I mean Mysis shrimp. 
<No Worries!>
Thanks, Chris
<You’re very welcome.  Lynn Z>
Follow-up Re: Re: Please ID This Crab for Me: Large Hermit  -  5/26/12

Error:  I mean Mysis shrimp. 
<No Worries!>
Thanks, Chris
<You’re very welcome.  Lynn Z>

Identify This Hermit Crab: Calcinus laevimanus -- 6/27/10
Hi Crew....
<Hi Gretchen, Lynn here today.>
I couldn't find anyone who could identify this hermit crab that I've had for over a year now. He's never come after any of the fish (I doubt he could catch them anyway),
<The fish would most likely have to be dead, injured, sleeping, or otherwise caught unawares.>
..but I wouldn't be surprised if he's made a meal out of a Turbo or 2 to get at their shell.
<It happens. Be sure to keep the hermit well fed with meaty bits of shrimp, fish, clam, pellet food, etc., as well as dried seaweed/Nori in hopes that it will deter future predation.>
I have no issues with him, but I'd just like to know what type of crab he is. He's got one huge claw, and hairless orange legs (plus a white stripe at the bottom of the leg)....Here are pictures of it: http://i722.photobucket.com/albums/ww227/wontonflip/125gallon/smDSC1697.jpg
<Thanks for the photos! Your pretty little hermit looks like Calcinus laevimanus, commonly referred to as a left-handed or zebra hermit. Please see the following links for comparison: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/reefs/guamimg/crustacea/anomura/Pages/Image10.html
http://www.meerwasser-lexikon.de/images/rBturAvW8q.jpg >
<You're welcome, enjoy!>
<Take care, Lynn Z>
Re: Identify This Hermit Crab: Calcinus laevimanus -- 6/27/10
<Hi Gretchen>
YES! That's him! Thanks for the response, Lynn! :D
<You're very welcome!>
<Take care, Lynn Z>

Hermit ID 5/30/2010
Hello WWM,
I have been trying to identify the crab in the attachments. I bought it thinking it was a bumblebee snail. When I saw it moving as fast as it was I flipped it over..and waited...and waited...then finally the legs appeared.
I couldn't find any thing on your site or the internet for this crab and wrote it off as a crab hi-jacking a bumblebee snail shell.
<This image is too small and poorly resolved to be of use. Please review here:
and the linked Hermit ID FAQs files above... Commonly encountered and utilized anomuran species are found here. Bob Fenner>
The more I think about it the more I wonder what are the odds of a crab with yellow and black stripped legs just happening upon a yellow and black stripped snail shell to hijack.
What is this crab?

Re: Hermit ID 6/1/10
Hello Bob,
Thank you for your reply. It amazes me how quickly this site answers questions.
I attached two photos to the previous email. I will attach the second one again.
<... junk>
My thought was also that it was a hermit crab, but again, I cannot find one that looks like it. Well, I am amused by it. I suppose that's all that really matters.
Thanks again.
<Read where you were previously referred. B>

Hermit Crab Identification 1/11/10
Dear WWM crew, <Hi Rafy> Great site, I must say. It has been my ultimate reference in marine aquarium hobby for the past 1 year. <Mine too> Keep up the good job! By the way, I would like to seek your expert opinion to identify the type of Hermit Crab I have over here. <nice photo's>They have orange legs with black stripes, and orange eyes with yellow tip. There is some white patch on the back of its head, somewhere near the thorax <yes,
distinctive>. My questions are as follow :
1) The LFS claimed that this is Red Legged Hermit Crab but after research, I suspect this is actually Halloween Hermit Crab (mainly based on the black-orange striped legs). What is your opinion on this? <I agree with you this looks like Ciliopagurus strigatus (Halloween Hermit) to me. See here:
2) After some research, I found some clashing claims. Some website claimed that this hermit crab can be rather large (are they confused with Halloween Crab?) but some claim that this species is reef safe and can only grow up to 2"
<Yes, but 2" is large for a crab in a reef tank, and no crab save commensal coral crabs are reef safe IMO. They are all opportunistic omnivorous scavengers. That means they'll eat anything> 3) Some site listed that the other name for this type of hermit crab is Cone Shell Hermit Crab. Does it mean that I must prepare spare conical shells for them? <No, but if you want him to grow to 2" you will need to provide a new 'home' for him at
some time if he is only small now> Thank you very much for your time :) <No problem!> RAFY <Simon>

Who's that crab? Anomuran IDs... for what? 9/30/09
You guys are always helpful, and awesome!
So, I figured I'd give it a try to see if you could help me figure out what kind of LARGE crab this is. We got him about four years ago from PetCo. Of course, labeled "hermit crab - Saltwater" and after asking them about him, they were as helpful as expected....which is to say not at all and called him a general hermit crab that sometimes but rarely came in shipment.
<... then... why did you buy it?>
Anyway, the aptly named "Blue Crab" lived happily for a while but due to some unfortunate accident, he died. We've been looking for another one ever since! He was about 2.5-3 inches in size. Blue, with white eye stalks with yellow tips, and black eyeballs. Yellow antennae, and white fuzz on his blue legs and claws. (See photo if I attached properly.)
<... Looks to be a Dardanus lagopodes... 'cept for the body colour. This species is usually maroon/reddish...>
As a bonus, we also used to have a very LARGE hermit crab (Gomez) who was dark pinto green, with thin red/brown accents. Smooth, not fuzzy, with thick, but not giant claws. This guy got about3.5-4 inches before he died. We don't know what kind of hermit he was either! We've asked fish dealers and hobbyists, and pet stores and no one seems to know anything much about large hermits, except for the most popular kind.
Please help...and thank you! : )
Melissa & Kevin
<... will ask LynnZ if she can run down for you. Bob Fenner>

Re: Who's that crab? Anomuran IDs... for what? 9/30/09
<Hello, Melissa and Kevin - Lynn here this afternoon.>
You guys are always helpful, and awesome!
<On behalf of Bob and crew, I thank you!>
So, I figured I'd give it a try to see if you could help me figure out what kind of LARGE crab this is. We got him about four years ago from PetCo. Of course, labeled "hermit crab - Saltwater"
<Yep, that sort of generality is cause to run to your trusty research book or internet site(s) before buying, to make sure the animal will be a good/safe addition for your system.>
..and after asking them about him, they were as helpful as expected....which is to say not at all and called him a general hermit crab that sometimes but rarely came in shipment.
<I'd love to know where those shipments were from!>
Anyway, the aptly named "Blue Crab" lived happily for a while but due to some unfortunate accident, he died. We've been looking for another one ever since!
<I'd keep checking Petco, in hopes that they're still getting shipments from the same area. Perhaps another such hermit will show up.>
He was about 2.5-3 inches in size. Blue, with white eye stalks with yellow tips, and black eyeballs. Yellow antennae, and white fuzz on his blue legs and claws. (See photo if I attached properly.)
<Very pretty! I've looked all over, but the closest I can get to an ID is what Bob already mentioned, Dardanus lagopodes. Usually, these hermits are a mottled maroon/red/brown and white, but I've read reports of color variants. Perhaps this is one. If you wish to look further I'd recommend trying a few internet image search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) using the genus name: Dardanus.>
As a bonus, we also used to have a very LARGE hermit crab (Gomez) who was dark pinto green, with thin red/brown accents. Smooth, not fuzzy, with thick, but not giant claws. This guy got about 3.5-4 inches before he died. We don't know what kind of hermit he was either!
<I'm sorry to say that I don't either. I can't quite see enough detail to be of much assistance. For instance, are the claws of equal in size, or different? Hermits in the family Diogenidae tend to have a larger left claw relative to the right, while those in Paguridae tend to have a larger right claw than left. If you remember, or have other photos that show this, perhaps you could search according to family, then narrow things from there.>
We've asked fish dealers and hobbyists, and pet stores and no one seems to know anything much about large hermits, except for the most popular kind.
<Well, there are a lot of them out there!>
Please help...and thank you! : )
<You're very welcome, and good luck in your search!>
Melissa & Kevin
<Take care, LynnZ>

Re: Who's that crab? Anomuran IDs... for what? 9/30/09
<Hello again!>
Thank you so much!
<You're very welcome!
The green crab had claws that were the same size, as did the blue crab!
Maybe if they had gotten bigger or older it would have varied where one was bigger?
<Well, the difference in claw sizes related to family is something that can help with an ID but it's not a guarantee. That's why I was careful to use the phrase 'tend to' instead of 'always'. The differences could be slight or not at all and on top of that, there could be other factors at play.>
Probably not, but they were super crabs. We really miss them!
<I can certainly understand that!>
Thanks again for the help.
<It was a pleasure.>
We'll keep searching!!
<Please do! If/when you do find another, please send more photos and we'll see if we can't figure out what you've got. Take care, LynnZ>

Follow-up: Re: Re: Who's that crab? Anomuran IDs... for what? 10/1/09
<Hi Melissa!>
With your and Bob's help for a start on the Latin name, we found this French site: http://users.skynet.be/fa311324/article/hermit.htm
<Ah yes, you found one of my favorites. It's loaded with wonderful photos. Here's another site as well: http://www.deepseaimages.com/dsilibrary/showgallery.php?cat=675
See families Diogenidae and Paguridae, starting about halfway down the page: http://www.roboastra.com/hastherm/hpherm.html>
..(Also, at the bottom there is "Phimochirus holthuisi" which says Photo credit Bob Fenner. Thought that was cute! : )
<Yes indeed, another wonderful photo!>
But about halfway down it shows "Dardanus lagopodes" which is a tiny bit more red but has the exact same eye stalks and yellow antennae as our long lost blue crab.
<I know the photo and yes, it is indeed very similar. Here are several others as well: http://www.deepseaimages.com/dsilibrary/showphoto.php?photo=7001&cat=675
http://cookislands.bishopmuseum.org/species.asp?id=7270 >
So, I'd guess we would have to agree with you guys on what he was!
<It does indeed appear to be either a color variant or another species in that genus.>
He was such a vibrant blue though...I wish we could have kept him alive!
<Indeed. I found an interesting parallel on the 'net last night after my last response. It deals with what appears to be a blue specimen of Pagurus bernhardus found off the coast of England. See this link: http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Torped56.html. It's postulated that the color might be due to a parasite. I honestly don't know if that's possible or not. Have you ever seen a blue lobster? The beautiful color is apparently due to a genetic defect that can be described at the following link. It may be more than you ever wanted to know on the subject, but it's interesting! http://srs.dl.ac.uk/Annual_Reports/AnRep01_02/pdf/08_09%20Crustacyanin.pdf >
We were soooo new to the hobby back then, and for some reason got something in our tank that killed all of our crustaceans, even the copepods.
<Aggressive hermits can do a number on their crustacean relatives, snails, and even fishes if they can grab, or catch them sleeping. As for the copepods, they may well have been reduced by various fishes you had at the time.>
Fish were fine..who knows!
<They may well have either steered clear of the hermits or slept out of reach of them!>
It's just been trial and error after trial and error for us!
<Yep, in this hobby you find out pretty quickly that research is your friend! That is, research *before* bringing home!>
Everything is healthy and thriving now and has been for a few years.
<Good to hear. I'm wondering if there isn't a parallel between this and the lack of large hermits!>
Anyway, I think it might be the same species. Obviously there are more sites out there that show a crab that looks like him, like this: http://www.zipcodezoo.com/hp350/Dardanus_lagopodes_0.jpg But I've still yet to find one that's blue!
<Same here!>
Anyway, the PetCo in our area stopped carrying saltwater animals...and I actually think that's really good because they were always so sad, dying, or badly taken care of.
<That's frustratingly sad to see. I've seen both ends of the spectrum in our area. It just depends on who's in charge/running the section.>
Still not sure on the green crab. He grew pretty fast and so I expect he would have gotten larger. That French site has two photos of crabs labeled "Clibanarius sp"...which I assume means "Clibanarius species of some sort" *lol*
<That's exactly what it means!>
He was really olive green but the markings on these crabs look similar, and his claws were about the same size as these look to be (of course like you said they are probably slightly different, but at a glance they look about the same size). Okay, anyway, thank you again so much!
<You're very welcome! It's been a learning experience for me as well and I appreciate it!>
I've been meaning to ask for years and just never got around to it.
<I'm glad you got around to it. If I ever run into a blue hermit like yours, I'll be sure to let you know.>
You've been really sweet and helpful...Have a great week!! : )
<It was my pleasure. You have a great week as well!>
<Take care, LynnZ>

White Leg Hermit? 3/16/2009
Please help me ID this little guy! I was at the local pet store when I noticed they were getting a new shipment in of hermits. They placed them all in their tank and I took my pick. There was a little white legged hermit... with blue on the stalks of his eyes.. I had to have him! He is different from all the rest of the hermits I have. His claws in the front are very small.
It seems like he has no antennas like the others do. I have a dwarf zebra crab, 3 blue legs and 2 scarlet red legs. I brought him home, and put him into my tank. I was unsure about what kind he is, and figured I would
just "look him up". No luck!! I just want to make sure that he is reef safe,
<This... is a matter of degree... some Anomurans are "pretty" reef safe... others far to the other side of the spectrum... This one is very likely on the "pretty safe" side... and stays small if it's what I think it is>
and actually know what he is!
<Might be a Calcinus latens...>
The other tank inhabitants are a sea apple, <Yikes! Do see WWM re... these Cucumbers are notorious for tank wipe-outs>
2 percula clown fish, a serpent star fish, a chocolate chip star and an engineer goby. Thanks for your help!!
Attached is some photos to help!
<Be reading, chatting, Bob Fenner>

Hermit Crab Care 1/8/09 Hi. <Hi Misty> I found your webpage after making my best attempt to identify the crab I have as well as learn the best way to care for it. My husband and I recently spent some time in Panama City, FL, where we were collecting shells and whatnot. Yes, I have come to realize, you read hundreds of emails just like this! We discovered this little guy in the bay. I am still unsure what kind of hermit crab he is but I am thinking C. vittatus. Could you please correct me if I am wrong. <Try to.> I know basically nothing about caring for marine animals. But, alas have decided to give it a go. I have found your website extremely helpful. After spending a week in a plastic Tupperware dish, in some sea water scooped from the bay, today he went into a tank. We went to our local salt water aquarium store and purchased a 10 gallon tank, some Instant Ocean, a filter, a hydrometer, 2 lbs of live rock, de-chlorinator, and "live" sand. After all the preparation steps of getting the water ready and settled, in he went, along with many of the shells found from his very beach. I did boil the shells before placing them in the water. I also purchased frozen baby brine shrimp which has to be dissolved in water for him to eat. <Baby brine is a little small for a food source, I'd go with small pieces of fish.> So, in the hour or so that he has been in this new environment he has explored and thoroughly examined each and every shell I put in there. And, changed shells now 3 times! I am under the assumption he is happy because he scoping everything out and seems to be doing quite well. I discovered tonight while watching him closely as he was shell hopping that he is missing a whole leg and one of his claws, both of which are on the same side of his body. This leaves him with only one usable leg on that side. Really what I am concerned about is if he will continue to thrive being "disabled" as he is. I have no idea if this leg loss has occurred since we brought him home or if he was this way when we kidnapped him. <Not unusual to see this. When the crab molts, he should have a new claw and legs. As crabs grow, they will molt on a regular basis. So, as long as you keep the little guy fed, I see no problems.> My last concern is the salinity and temperature in which he should be kept, being that he came from the gulf. Any information you can provide to me will be greatly appreciated. <Hermit crabs are very hardy creatures and are very tolerant of water conditions. A salinity of 1.020-1.023 will be fine. For temperature, set about 75.> Thank you so much for your time. <You're welcome, and get that guy some fish and learn more about your find here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/crabs/hermitcrabs.htm James (Salty Dog)> Misty Rettagliata ps: I am including 2 photos of him, in hopes that you can help me identify him. Hopefully they come thru! <I don't see them.> <<... Is Clibanarius vittatus... and care information can be found linked at the top of James' citation on WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/crabs/hermitcrabs.htm BobF>>

Re: Hermit Crab Care 1/9/09 James, Thanks for your response. <You're welcome.> I am slightly frustrated the pictures didn't come thru. I am going to attempt to send them as attachments this time. Today has gone well. The little bugger has been shell hopping like crazy. Its almost like a game between the same 3 shells.....back and forth and over again! You had very little to remark about everything I said (except probably the absolute essentials) so am I to assume that thus far I am proceeding correctly? <Yes, but I've also posted a link leading you to much more info than I have the time to provide here.> I went back to the fish store today and talked the guy's ear off trying to get as much information as I could. When I asked for some fish to feed crabby he basically put me off saying that it would be better to not put something like that into the tank and instead gave me shrimp pellets. <That will work. Hermit Crabs are scavengers by nature and will eat most anything.> I didn't want to argue because I know everyone does things differently. I figure I can pick up some fish at the grocery store! <The fish was meant as an example of foods they will eat. As long as you have already bought the shrimp pellets, you might as well use them.> While I was there I also bought a heater and thermometer, because I was worried the water temp was too chilly based on what you recommended. I was correct. The water temp was around 66 degrees F. As of now it's a comfy 74. <Is fine.> I am going cuckoo, however, after reading things about the nitrates, iodine, ammonia, and a million other things it seems as if I should be monitoring, yet not knowing how! <As I mentioned before, hermit crabs are very tolerant of water conditions and as for water testing, I wouldn't worry too much here as long as the crab will be the only animal in the tank. Watch your feeding habits, a small portion a day is all that is necessary and a monthly one gallon water change will be beneficial.> Is there anything you can suggest I do differently from what I told you previously? <Not for keeping a hermit crab, you have the basic equipment, but I do suggest you clean/change the filter media at least twice monthly.> And, I am interested in adding a 2, maybe 3 damsels and perhaps one more small hermit. Is this something you think would be wise? <It can work but two small damsels would be the limit for a 10 gallon tank. Do not consider those cute little black ones with the three white spots (Three Spot Damsel) as they will soon overgrow your ten gallon tank. The Yellowtail Damselfish is small, colorful and an easy to keep fish. Further reading on damselfish can be found here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/damsels.htm> Is there much more that would need to be done before taking those steps? <Yes, now we are on a different page, we are going to need some type of biological filtration as a first step. Do read here and related articles/FAQ's, this will give you a good overview of the basics. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marineSetUp.htm I've also provided an index to additional information available. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/marsetupindex1.htm> Again, I appreciate all the knowledge you guys are able to share. And I am enjoying this website greatly. I have been reading tons. <Reading will be your best teacher, enjoy.> Thanks so much! Misty

Hermit Crab ID 1/10/09 Misty, I am going to answer the hermit crab ID separate from hermit crab care for ease of filing in our system. Your suggestion of C. vittatus is actually a scorpion, not a hermit crab. I'm thinking your crab is a Clibanarius. James (Salty Dog)> <<What, scorpion? RMF>>

Re: Hermit Crab ID 01/09/09 Bob, Probably my fault on the ID as I didn't think two creatures would be identified as vittatus. Should have investigated the "C." further. Look here. http://www.ub.ntnu.no/scorpion-files/c_vittatus.php James <Mmm, perhaps a note here... the second part of scientific names can/do get used over and over... Genera (plural for genus, the first part of a species name) are supposed to be unique. BobF>

Re: Hermit Crab ID 1/10/09 I am sorry for the confusion. I guess that shows how little I know and how much I need to study because I was meaning Clibanarius vittatus, simply shortened it to C. Vittatus not knowing that it too was already a creature (scorpion)! That being said, then I was correct in my home id of him. <Actually I erred thinking the "C" was Clibanarius. Your crab is a Clibanarius vittatus.> I can't say it enough, thank you thank you thank you and everyone else for your time and help in these situations. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Misty

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