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    Diversity of Form | Beautiful Hermit Crabs

    There is a strong stigma towards hermit crabs in reef aquariums here in the States, but this is not seen everywhere in the world. This is a large reason why we never see some of these beautiful species that can add color and vibrance to any aquarium. Yes some of them are carnivors, but with […]

    There is a strong stigma towards hermit crabs in reef aquariums here in the States, but this is not seen everywhere in the world. This is a large reason why we never see some of these beautiful species that can add color and vibrance to any aquarium. Yes some of them are carnivors, but with precaution they can be a successful addition to the reef. 

    Hermits often get a bad reputation amongst reef aquarists. They eat coralline algae, filamentous algae, and stir detritus. (All pluses in my book.) They may dine on the occasional snail, but if there is enough food the hermit will almost always take the easy way out and skip the snail meal. Take a look at some of these beautiful specimens, it may make you re-think your position on them. 

    Besides a few species, not much is known about these crabs in captive aquaria beyond the experiences a few gutsy aquarists. Given some do have large claws, we would not recommend adding them to tanks with smaller fish such as gobies and blennies. We plan on adding a few crab oddities to the glassbox in the near future, if you beat us to the punch let us know your experiences.

     

    One of the more commonly available and beautiful hermits is Ciliopagurus strigatus  the Halloween Hermit. These small guys can be less menacing than others and do a great job of taking care of uneaten food, algae and even cyano. Check out LiveAquaria’s Collector’s Corner, they commonly have them in.

     Ciliopagurus strigatus

     Pylopaguropsis keijii or the Broadhand Coral Hermit is quite pretty.

    Pylopaguropsis keijii

    Here’s a specimen with the large claw still purple.

     Pylopaguropsis keijii2

    Okay, I must admit the claw on Pylopaguropsis fimbriata is a bit intimidating.

     P. fimbriata

    Not so much when removed from the shell 

     p.fimbriata no shell

    Pylopaguropsis speciosa is another beautiful large clawed crab

     Pylopaguropsis speciosa

    Pylopaguropsis bellula has similar markings, but appears to be a safer bet.

    Pylopaguropsis bellula

    Not much is known about Psuedopaguristyes sidari, but there is room in our aquarium for one. 

    Pseudopaguristyes sidari 

    Calcinus lineappropodus is related to the common Electric Blue Hermit (C. elegans)

    Calcinus lineappropodus 

    As we said before, add these guys with caution. They are animals with claws and given the opportunity there is no telling of how they will behave. If you’re like us and feel their beauty out weighs the risks, then we wish you luck on your crab collecting. If hermit crabs are not for you, we suggest looking at some beautiful ornamental shrimp.

    7 Comments

    1. August 28, 2008 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

      Nice hermits – some of those are totally new to me. C.lineappropodus is just gorgeous.

    2. August 29, 2008 at 11:40 AM | Permalink

      Hi Tai Haku,

      Unfortunately, the collection is not ours, but from various aquarists across the world, many of them are new to us as well.

      BTW, great website. The land hermit crashing the bubbly party was great.

    3. MR294
      August 30, 2008 at 7:48 AM | Permalink

      It’s a shame that a wider variety of inverts don’t show up in the US(on the east coast anyway).

    4. Peter Robertson
      February 17, 2009 at 11:51 PM | Permalink

      Thanks for posting the pic of the pylopaguropsis speciosa!

      I picked up one of these at North American Fish Breeders in Toronto and they didn’t really know what kind it was. I had never seen a hermit crab with such bright colors before!

      I am keeping it in a 3 gallon tank to see how it behaves. It’s quite a beauty!

    5. February 19, 2009 at 10:34 AM | Permalink

      @Peter,

      If you have any photos please share. P. speciosa is beautiful and I am very jealous that you were able to find one!

    6. Mbratz
      August 8, 2010 at 5:30 PM | Permalink

      they are so pretty

    7. Mbratz
      August 8, 2010 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

      they are so pretty

    3 Trackbacks

    1. […] The Hawaiian Hermits were purchased as  ”Halloween Hermits” which they are. However,  I was thinking they would be Ciliopagurus strigatus. Nonetheless, these guys are colorful and a surprising addition. These are identical to the more common Indo Calcinus elegans,  however the coloration is different. The blue bands on the typical C. elgans are a vibrant orange on this morph that is only found in Hawaii.  For more colorful Hermits check out this article: Beautiful Hermit Crabs […]

    2. […] has the absolute most beautiful collection of hermit crabs I have ever been witness to!! A must […]

    3. […] hermit crabs, most of which you cannot find in the U.S. or Europe, check out this article:  Beautiful Hermit Crabs. Digg this!Share this on del.icio.usTweet This!Share this on TechnoratiShare this on RedditShare […]

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