23 May 2012 More details have been added to the Species section.
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Why do hermit crabs drop limbs?
Hermit crabs drop limbs due to stress. Please read through all previous pages of this guide if you have not done so already. If your tank is set up properly and your hermit crabs are fed a proper diet, then your hermit crabs may have dropped limbs due to one or more of the following reasons.
The hermit crab is overwhelmed by PPS.
The hermit crab fell off a tall climbing ornament and injured itself.
The hermit crab was a victim of a shell fight.
The hermit crab is feeling ill.
The hermit crab experienced difficulties moulting.
What should I do with a hermit crab that has dropped limbs?
As per usual, place the hermit crab in the isolation tank with a hidey cave over it. Monitor the hermit crab to make sure that it stops dropping any more limbs. If it has been a long time since the hermit crab last moulted or it continues to be lethargic, keep the hermit crab in the isolation tank. Even if the hermit crab is still active, it should stay in the isolation tank for at least two weeks before returning it to the main tank. Try not to disturb the hermit crab when you are checking on its progress.
What should I do with the dropped limbs?
Throw them out as they will just rot and attract mould.
How do I hand-feed a hermit crab that dropped both claws?
Hermit crabs without claws will have great difficulty eating even if they want to. All food that you feed to the hermit crab should be in liquid or powdered form. Put small amounts of the food onto a clean brush or toothpick and gently wipe them onto the hermit crab's mouthparts. Be patient and give your hermit crab time to swallow. Only feed a small amount of food each day as the hermit crab will refuse to eat if you feed it too much. Honey, spirulina and calcium carbonate powder are good choices. You can tear tiny amounts of meat and try feeding them to your hermit crab with a toothpick. Be extremely careful not to stab your hermit crab with the toothpick.