The history of the Earth formed and developed over many decades. It is impossible not to say that the Earth can be considered a rich and diverse ecosystem from creatures, animals, to humans. Millions of years of evolutionary change and adaptation, each population is seen as a creator of mysterious things, and then every time the results are discovered, there are countless surprises. As proof of the above, the following article will teach you about an animal with a rather strange behavior that few people know about: the hermit crab and hermit crab egg.
What Is A Hermit Crab?
Hermit crabs are a type of crustacean closely related to crabs, and they often live in groups or groups. This crab has a rather strange name, “hermit crab,” partly due to its different living characteristics.
The crab species has a specific structure belonging to the mollusk crustacean family, the head and the more complex the shell, the hairy protective gills. Still, gradually along the lower body, it is vulnerable. So they choose to parasitize on snail shells or hollow tree trunks to make a shelter to protect their bodies.
Hermit crabs will curl their tails to one side to make it easier to fit in the shell. If you are lucky, you will see a scene of a set of snail shells neatly arranged in a horizontal row, successively from the largest one will choose their house to the end.
Currently, this type of crab also has many different names depending on many places; some of the words you can refer to our “Herman Crab,” “Determinant crab,” “Crab snail.”
Classification Of Crabs – Habitat
After going through the research steps, this crab breed has more than 800 species globally, and now all are ocean inhabitants.
Scientists have divided this crab species most commonly, that is, by habitat. They are divided into two types:
Hermit on land
Many people love to keep this type of crab as a pet. These crabs are from the same family, Coenobita. It is that crabs live on land or land hermit crab, but they often need to be exposed to both freshwater and seawater to survive; that’s why we often encounter them in rocky crevices near the sea in places with tropical climates. Like in the Americas-Europe, you might discover it more often if traveling from Alaska to Mexico or Guatemala to Chile.
Hermit in the sea (in an aquatic environment)
With crabs that are entirely dependent on the water, they often belong to the Marine family. Their living conditions are much harsher, we find them in deep-sea reefs, and the depth at which they can live is 140m above sea level. However, in some cases, we often see them along the coast at low tide for some species of other families.
Living Habits Of Hermit Crabs
Molting is one of the maturation processes that any crustacean must go through. Crab molts remove the old thin shell, replacing it with a newer armor to protect them from predators. Molting can also be seen as a process to regenerate the body for animals that have lost legs or previous claws.
Hermit crabs change shells.
The process of borrowing crabs will change with their growth in size. As they grew older, the shells they lived in when they were young were no longer suitable. Around this time, crabs will find themselves a new home -> this is called the process of changing the shell.
The way the “hermit snails” choose houses can be different. Some animals choose to go on a journey to find new homes, but most species will exchange their habitats.
Their way of communication is to use their beard to touch the opponent. After receiving the response, they will arrange the shells to exchange for each other. When finding suitable shells, the whole flock will gather and place them from smallest to largest. The giant crab will enter the new house, continuing to the second until the end.
Hermit crabs symbiotic with Anemone
The process of symbiosis takes place between the interests of both parties. Anemone is a species that usually lives permanently on rocks and hard surfaces on the seabed. If food is scarce and the enemy threatens, Anemone will choose to leave his home and parasitize an animal species, specifically the “Heremon Snail.” This relationship can be mutually beneficial when Anemone can move in search of food and hermit crabs have a camouflage to avoid enemies.
How Are Hermit Crab Eggs Created?
Breeding season in hermit crabs is considered the busiest when many crabs gather in one place. Here you will witness the competition of male crabs for their mate. The reproductive process of the species goes through many stages to finally form the baby crab eggs.
- When they first enter the breeding season, the female crab will secrete a pheromone substance to notify the male crab.
- Once discovered, the male crabs will enter the process of competing for the right to mate.
- However, the competition process is not easy. The choice of a mate lies entirely with the female crab, so in addition to competing with other opponents, the male crab must also enlist to show affection to the female crab.
- Female hermit crabs show that they like to breed and then hide inside the shell.
- At this stage, the male friend must successfully drive away his partner and protect the female friend.
- Next, the mating and fertilization of the offspring will take place.
- Females will breed and carry 800-50000 eggs in a bag
- After a month, when incubation is complete, the female will go to a saltwater body to lay eggs.
What Shape Are Crab Eggs?
Similar to many other egg-laying animals. Hermit crab eggs are incubated and protected by the mother until the process itself hatches.
Each spawning in large numbers, all hermit crab eggs are encased in a thin membrane that the female carries with her. If you look at the pictures we have taken, the eggs are light brown in miniature form, which is quite similar to the types of herring roe you have ever seen.
Why Do Hermit Crabs Carry Eggs With Them?
Living in an animal environment, they all have enemies of each other. For example, shrimp’s enemies are octopuses, and sardines are food for larger animals. Likewise, hermit crabs also have certain enemies.
When parasitizing with snail shells, adult crabs will partially avoid the enemy’s attack, but not for young eggs. This is why hermit crabs carry eggs with them.
Growth Process After Hermit Crab Eggs Hatch.
After the crab eggs hatch, they will go through four specific development stages as follows:
Zoeae is a tiny larva that develops from a crab’s egg. After it hatches, it emerges from the water to live with plankton for 30-60 days. This will be the most challenging period for them to survive because otherwise, they will become a meal for passing whales. The surviving Zoeae will move towards the ocean shore.
Megalopa is the next development step of Zoeae, and this is the small life stage, postlarval hermit crab. You won’t see them and study them until you use a magnifying glass with their small size.
This phase lasts about 30 days, and it can also be considered a difficult period to survive when individuals with the status of worms eat each other for strength and energy. The lucky number of Megalopolis that come to the mainland will immediately bury themselves in the sand, waiting for the next evolutionary step.
After 30 days of evolution, it finally emerged from the sand. They begin to learn to look for empty shells to live in, but they are likely to find parasitic gastropods because of their small body size.
Juvenile crabs molt and mature continuously; if they survive adulthood, they will start looking for new companions to form a new community. At this stage, a new, more durable home is also sought by them.
If the hermit crab goes through all three above stages, it will become an adult crab. At this stage, hermit crabs continue a new cycle of feeding and reproducing.
What color are hermit crab eggs?
Hermit crabs carry eggs with them throughout pregnancy until birth, so in some cases, it is difficult to see close-ups of the shape and color of this crab breed.
In some cases, photographers and biologists can see crab egg shells of a yellow ivory color similar to light brown. They are stacked in a protective film bag.
How to raise hermit crabs to make them a pet?
The phenomenon of buying hermit crabs to raise as pets is no longer a distant pastime for many people. Similar to raising fish, raising hermit crabs is not easy; the things you need to know to grow this crab are as follows:
- The first is the breed of the crab; if you want your crabs to survive well, the first thing you must remember is the breed. You will not be able to keep it alive when the type of crab you buy from the beginning is already weak and sick.
- In terms of habitat, the Crab Pond is a humid place that doesn’t have to be full of water. Moist sand is a must; the most suitable humidity to live well is in the range of 75-85%.
- However, you must adjust the appropriate temperature; controlling the temperature is more complex than changing the humidity. In some cases, crabs can also live in high-temperature environments, but not for long.
What are the important notes for rearing hermit crabs?
Hermit crabs are animals that live in a natural environment; keeping in a tight space is not an easy thing.
Therefore, in the process of raising to ensure health, you should bring your pet out in the sun once a week. The purpose of this is to expose the crabs to the natural environment, and the second is to let the sunlight remove the mold and parasites present on the shell. You need to prepare them in a small bowl with ice, creating water.
Besides, if you want to keep your pet’s shell from fading, don’t forget to add vitamin A to your pet from red foods such as tomatoes, carrots, beef liver, cod liver oil, Herring…
The above article summarizes what you need to understand about this unique crustacean hermit crab. Hope the above information will help you in learning about its species.