As the name suggests, the Strawberry Hermit Crab has the appearance and colour of a strawberry. They are very active and strong, easily trashing and moving objects within an enclosure.
The Strawberry Hermit Crab has to be the most attractive species within the land hermit crabs kept in captivity. Adults are a stunning bright red with small white pimples, giving them a strawberry appearance, hence their name. Juveniles tend to be a pale red to orange colour, as they moult, their red colouration becomes stronger. One easy way to ensure you have a Strawberry Hermit Crab is to check the eyes, they look like polished hematite. They also do not have as many hairs compared to other species of land hermit crabs.
We are unsure of their fully grown size, however, believe they should reach between 12-15cm if not larger. They have been known to live for around thirty years in captivity.
Strawberry Hermit Crabs are found living close to the shoreline of Indonesia, Malaysia, Madagascar, Japan and Australia. Most are collected from areas such as Indonesia and Madagascar.
This species is best kept in a large glass tank, this will help with humidity levels as explained later on.
They require plenty of space, provide a tank of at least 30inch in length for two to three medium/large sized Strawberry Hermit Crabs. A mixture of sand and soil is the best substrate, this should be at a depth of 3 inches. Strawberry Hermit Crabs love to climb,place plenty of climbing area in the enclosure ranging from rocks, jungle vines and logs.
A day time temperatures of 26-29C (80-85F) must be provided, night time temperatures should not go below 26C (80F). They enjoy to bask for five to fifteen minutes a day, therefore providing a basking lamp is essential. Ensure all basking bulbs or heat sources are connected to thermostats to prevent over heating the enclosure. The use of a heat mat on the side/back of the tank, can help with the humidity levels, ensure the heat mat is safe to use on glass tanks. You can also use a low percentage UV bulb or tube, Land Hermit Crabs respond well to this.
You must have two large water areas/dishes with a depth so that the Hermit Crab can fully submerge itself. One dish should have fresh clean de-chlorinated water, the other salt water. Regular spraying of de-chlorinated water will help keep the humidity levels up, you need to maintain this at around 80% day and night.
If you do not feed your Strawberry Hermit Crabs on foods rich in carotene, their bright red colouration will fade and after moults can turn white. To name a few foods they will take; bananas, broccoli, carrots, chicken, nuts and seeds, oranges, peanut butter, sardines, seaweed, shrimps, tomatoes, tuna and so on.
This is NOT a species for beginners as their requirements must be met, they also tend to have a high mortality rate after moulting.
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Monday 22 May 2017
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