Where Do Hermit Crab Shells Come From? Top 6 Secrets That You Should Know About.

Where Do Hermit Crab Shells Come From
* Products recommended in the post contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through our posts, we may receive a commission at no extra charge to you. See our full disclosures here.
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Where Do Hermit Crab Shells Come From? The detailed article below will help you fully answer this question with detailed instructions and related information.

Where Do Hermit Crab Shells Come From?

If you look at the crabs, you can see them carrying shells. When they are young, they will spend time developing their carapace. By adulthood, the crabs have completed their bodies and begin to become exciting hermits. 

So, Where do hermit crab shells come from? Today, let’s learn together about the formation and development of hermit crab shells!

What Is A Hermit Crab?

Currently, there are more than 800 hermit crab species globally, and most of them live in the ocean. Although, many people often know this is a semi-terrestrial animal. They are commonly known as hermit crabs and are cared for just like pets.

In addition, there are several freshwater hermit crabs, such as Clibanarius Fonticola, native to Vanuatu.

Hermit crabs are omnivores, and they will eat other animals such as mussels or dead animals, algae, etc.

Many people believe that this hermit crab species is misnamed for the main reason:

They do not quite resemble ordinary crabs like blue crabs; they do not have a hard exoskeleton and cannot develop their shell.

The hermit crab has a hard exoskeleton in the front of the body and a soft tail on the other half. They often protect their shells using the discarded carapaces of other animals.

In general, hermit crabs are more closely related to lobsters than to common crabs.

In addition, hermit crabs have a curled tail connected to a hook that helps their body easily fit in their shell. 

Sometimes, this animal just flips the surface, and other animals of the same species will line up in a straight line in order from largest to smallest. Then, they will consider and choose which new shell is right for them.

How Do Hermit Crabs Get Their First Shell?

As explained in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, the megalopa is the first shellfish in the ocean. Because these animals have a relatively short life span, their shells can be carried by sea snails.

A megalopa will use its thick shell to protect itself from dangers. They will develop lungs and strengthen to adapt to life on land quickly.

It can be that this is a pretty flexible animal when they can both live in the ocean and can live on land. Megalopa is pretty small, so if they need to change “new layers,” they will settle down deeply and carry out their process.

After transforming into hermit crabs, they will begin their careful, serious search for new shells. Like other young, young animals, hermit crabs are very vulnerable.

The reason is that they are not nurtured by their mother nor learn to survive, so hermit crabs always try to learn how to survive from an early age. It also helps you better understand that they should choose a sturdy drum shell.

According to research, hermit crabs are constantly developing their shells. Based on the explanation of Revista Chilena de Historia Natural, hermit crabs are trying to delay their growth so they can choose more shells.

Cases also come in a variety of varieties, but medium-sized shells are considered the hardest to find. Large shells are always the target that hermit crabs set out to find.

In addition, there will be at least some conflicts with her seniors in the development of hermit crabs.

Where Do Hermit Crabs Find Their Shells?

Hermit Crabs can find new shells while scavenging. Hunting for a new cover is like the habit of this animal. Many children will choose a potential area to select a fresh apricot.

In general, Hermit Crabs will rely on seawater to determine the location of the shell that they are aiming for. As explained by Animal Behavior, the presence of steam helps their senses increase their ability to function, making searching easier.

Without access to water, Hermit Crabs will have difficulty moving to find shells. They will be disoriented and, at the same time, confused.

According to scientists, the shedding process is like a double-edged sword for Hermit Crabs. Each time they switch to a new shell, they have to leave the old shell, which makes them easy to attack by predators.

Indonesian hermit crab

Therefore, Hermit Crabs will not constantly change to a new shell; they just switch to another surface that feels safer and more attractive.

Hermit Crabs caught by seafood store owners will still be left for tomorrow. They cannot live long without this protection. Many creative owners have painted crab shells with different colors to attract customers’ attention.

However, sellers should not overdo the paint on the shell because the color can get inside, or these crabs will be exposed to the toxic paint smell. This endangers not only the crab itself but also the customers.

How Do Hermit Crabs Get New Shells?

As the information has just been shared, Hermit Crabs only leave their old shell in case of necessity or feel “new home” safer.

So, before they move into a new home, they will “try it out” a bit. Here are 3 ways Hermit Crabs does to try and consider moving into a new home:

Scavenging for Empty Shells

In the process of foraging on the beach, the crabs easily find spare shells for themselves. If Hermit Crabs finds that the shell is suitable for its needs, it will keep it and consider whether to exchange it or not.

It could have been a wide seashell, the remains of dead animals. If the Hermit Crabs don’t like the “new home,” they will return to the original shell. However, some crabs can quickly move into a new home as soon as they try.

Besides, the “changing of clothes” also needs to consider giving birth. Laying is also responsible for the high mortality rate of Hermit Crabs. For example, this animal is in the breeding season but cannot come out, which is extremely dangerous.

Dead Hermit Crabs

If a Hermit Crab dies, it releases a particular pheromone. As Ecology and Evolution explain, this scent will be taken away by other Hermit Crabs.

Although crabs only eat cannibals to survive in case of need. However, the release of this particular pheromone requires advance notice.

Because Hermit Crabs have a habit of living in groups and are highly social, they are pretty concerned with the development of their species. The act of secreting pheromones is the way to help the rest of the crabs in the colony continue to grow. They are ensuring that a potential new shell is not overlooked.

Fighting Other Hermit Crabs

Although Hermit Crabs have a habit of living in groups, they can sometimes come into conflict. This usually only occurs in the form of shell rapping. Of course, it involves one Hermit Crab getting the upper hand when ramming another’s shell.

Hermit Crab will cause conflict if another animal intends to covet the shell it is aiming for. It can challenge other crabs to fight with each other. If the other animal wins, Hermit Crabs also sadly leaves the shell to them.

However, Behavior explains that not all Hermit Crab conflicts are won or lost outright. It is essential that both animals feel satisfied with the results they perform.

Should I Change My Hermit Crab’s Shells?

You can buy Hermit Crab’s Shells online or in person at a store. Any shopper will advise you on choosing a case in the size, style, or color you love.

Strawberry hermit crab

You should not force Hermit Crabs to change the shell if they do not want to. This animal will always try to protect their “home” to the end.

It will give a robust and ferocious resistance if you try to pull the Hermit Crab out of its shell. Many people think they would rather have their legs and arms torn off than give up the solid “protection layer” they are using.

Should Hermit Crabs To Change Shells Be Encouraged?

If you are worried that the case that Hermit Crab is using is too small or does not fit, provide them with more choices. Here are some ways to help attract the Hermit Crab to its “new home:

  • You moisten the shell with boiled seawater to make the Hermit Crab feel more attractive. You should not use tap water for cooking because the water contains a certain amount of chlorine and Cu. These are both substances that can cause them to die.
  • Hermit Crab may not change the cover overnight, but you should not rush to take it and replace it with “other new shirts.” The reason is that they feel satisfied with the current shell.
  • However, it would help if you were careful to remove the shells and clean them once a week to make the Hermit Crab feel more curious and attractive. This crab likes to find its shell and choose its own time if it deems necessary.
  • In addition, if you love Hermit Crab’s Shell, buy them and decorate your aquarium. If you want to see firsthand the process of “testing” their home, keep an eye on the time frame at night.


Hopefully, sharing about Hermit Crabs has helped you better understand this animal and the process of considering and considering moving into your new home!

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *