• GBD videos on vimeo
  • subscribe : rss feed
  • Entry

    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.

    Related Posts

    1. Hermit Crab Shell Swap
    2. The Unknown Caribbean Hermit Crab, Phimochirus operculatus
    3. Diversity of Form | Ornamental Shrimp
    4. Diversity of Form | Chromis Discoveries & More Than Just Green
    5. Diversity of Form | Angelfish in the Reef Aquarium
    • http://tai-haku.blogspot.com/ tai haku

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

    • http://glassbox-design.com e&f

      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.

    • MR294

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

    • Peter Robertson

      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!

    • http://glassbox-design.com eric michael

      @Peter,

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

    • Pingback: Tropic Eden Aragonite Reeflakes and Miniflakes Review. Changes to The Glasbox - Reef clean up crew, Halloween Hermit (Calcinus cf. elegans) | glassbox-design.com

    • Pingback: Links to keep you preoccupied | Deep Sea News

    • Pingback: Hermit Crab Shell Swap | glassbox-design.com

    • Mbratz

      they are so pretty

    • Mbratz

      they are so pretty