Hermit Crabs Quotes (1 quote)
What Happens When a Hermit Crab Dies?
Updated: March 29, References. Hermit crabs are prone to periods of solitude and lethargy, particularly when they're molting. It can be difficult to tell whether a hermit crab is molting, sick, or dead. As a general rule, though: assume molting before death, unless you have evidence to the contrary. Read on for tips about diagnosing and caring for your hermit crab!
Hermit crabs can be shy and unsocial. They can have molting periods where they shed their exoskeleton, making them look strange and immobile for months. It can be hard to tell if a hermit crab is dead, stressed, molting or just shy. There are some things that happen to a hermit crab when it dies that help make that determination. It is not unusual for a hermit crab to lose a leg or even a claw when under duress.
It is often extremely difficult to distinguish whether a hermit crab is indeed molting, or has passed over the Rainbow Bridge. This is due to how similar in appearance the two can be. The approach a hermit crab owner takes can mean the difference between life or death if the crab is molting. I have witnessed numerous land hermit crabs during the molting process and identified four main molting positions. The most common position begins with the hermit crab lying down on their side while shedding their old exoskeleton. The eyestalks are in a laid down position, antenna appear to be tucked under their eyestalks between the large cheliped and feeding claw in a downward position. The legs appear to be lifeless and very limp with a slight curl.
Video of the Day
Hermit crabs molt on a regular basis as they grow but it is surprisingly easy to mistake a molting hermit crab for a dead hermit crab. A molting crab appears quite limp and lifeless, and the body is often partway out of the shell. Sometimes, with very careful observation, you will be able to see small twitches from the hermit crab's body while it is molting, but otherwise, it can be very difficult to tell whether or not it is still alive.