The Caribbean Hermit Crab
By Preston Blackmore
The Different Species of Hermit Crabs are really fascinating. Did you ever imagine, this is a unique creature that always moves with its home - a shell. Hermit crabs pick up shells and get into it for protection. Thereafter, the crab remains within it till the time it almost outgrows the shell. Once the crab is big enough, it discards this shell and moves into another shell. The world of Hermit crabs is really fascinating.
Hermit crabs come in various breeds. The most common breed to be found in the US is the Caribbean hermit crab. Its biological name is Coenobita clypeatus. It is also called by different names like the West Atlantic crab, the tree crab, the soldier crab. However its most popular name is the purple pincher. It gets this name from its color and its strong sting of its purple claw.
Caribbean Hermit crabs are in different shades of color varying from a pale red to a dark brown or burgundy. They have oval shape eyes with round eyestalks. These crabs have a short and fat abdomen which is made of soft tissues unlike crabs. The appendages include four walking legs and four tiny legs. The main weapons of the crab are a large purple pincher and a small pincher.
The Caribbean crab lives on land but has gills. The creature requires humid air to keep its gill wet and functioning.
Habitat of the Caribbean hermit Crab
The crabs get their name from the place of their origin, the Caribbean Island. Known to be one of the finest tropical destinations in the world, the Caribbean Island enjoy warm tropical climate. The Caribbean Hermit Crab can also be found in places like the Atlantic, Florida, Bahamas, Belize, Venezuela, the West Indies and the Virgin Islands. The crabs require ideal weather conditions to survive. The relative humidity level should be maintained between 70% and 78%. They also require temperature levels of 24Â°C (75Â°F) to survive.
The most interesting part of their lives is their shells. The crab gets into a shell to protect itself. Then it uses the large pincher at the entrance to deter predators. Empty shells of land snails are used. These hermit crabs are very particular about the use of shells. They first use the claw to check out the shell and see if it is empty and clean. Crabs also change shells till the time they find the perfect one. There are also severe fights over rights for a shell.
Caribbean hermit crabs are omnivorous. They eat dead organisms, fish, other crabs or leftovers. They eat commercial foods in captivity including fruits, vegetables, coconuts and most other fruits. Spinach is also very popular.
Caribbean hermit crabs make very fine pets. Never buy a single crab. Try to adopt two or more crabs. They will be happier in captivity. You must take special care when the crabs are molting. The creature can be very much stressed while molting. For smaller crabs, molting could be frequent. Bigger crabs will molt once in 12 to 18 months. You must first create a proper habitat at home before getting the crabs. So go ahead and start planning. It will be worth the effort.
Preston Blackmore is a hermit crab enthusiast. For more information on Species of Hermit Crabs , visit www.hermitcrabclub.com.
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Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.