The land hermit crab makes A wonderful pet. It is friendly, intelligent, odor free and very clean. This crab has evolved to live on land and uses an empty shell as a portable home, as well as for protection. The crab will climb out of it's shell and "put on" a new one from time to time. Therefore, a few spare shells should be kept in the crabitat for this purpose. If well cared for these crabs will live for several decades. During this time they will become so friendly - you will consider them one of the family.
Hermit crabs are invertebrates, meaning they do not have an internal skeleton. In order to grow, they moult by shedding their existing skeleton to make way for a new larger skeleton. Other crustaceans, insects and spiders also have to moult to grow. Discarded crab shells are often found on the beach, presumed dead. During the moulting or shell shedding process, crabs take their eyes, antennae and legs with them. They leave their gills behind and these can be seen in discarded exoskeletons.
How do I Know if the Shell Fits Correctly?
Your crab should be able to completely withdraw into its shell and seal the opening with its large pincher. Some crabs like shells a little larger or a bit smaller, but as long as the shell covers the abdomen closely and completely, there is no real reason to fret over your crab being in a shell that is too small. The same goes for a crab in a shell that you think is too large. If the crab is able to maneuver the shell while it is walking, there is no need for you to worry that the shell is too large.
How do I Measure my Crab for a Shell?
Take your crab in your hand and look at his large claw. The perfect-fitting shell will have an opening about the size of the large claw plus about 1/8" all around (for larger crabs it will be more) or 1/10" all around. You're ultimately looking for a shell whose entrance the crab will be able to plug with his or her large claw and far left walking leg.
Your hermit crab will bathe itself if you provide it with fresh water (no chlorine) in its bowl or seawater in a separate bowl, but it is still a good idea to bath your hermit crab once or twice a week. Simply submerge your hermit crab in room temperature water and allow it to air dry. It's easy and will help keep your hermit crab happy and healthy.
Some choices for food other than regular pellet:
Fruits: Diced apples, banana bits, grape halves, raisins and figs.
Vegetables: Lettuce, carrot, shaveings, squash, potatoes and natural peanut butter.
Meats: Chicken, turkey, ham, cat food, and dog food.
Other items: Honey, choya wood, tree leaves, and calcium.