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Coenobita [ Submitted by Julia_Crab ] Coenobita brevimanus - Indonesian land hermit crab [ Submitted by Tony Coenobita ] Coenobita cavipes - Concave land hermit crab [ Submitted by Carrie ] Coenobita clypeatus - Caribbean land hermit crab [ Submitted by krabby_katie ] Coenobita compressus - Ecuadorian land hermit crab [ Submitted by Julia_Crab ] Coenobita perlatus - Strawberry land hermit crab [ Submitted by Tony Coenobita ] Coenobita pseudorugosus - Sunrise land hermit crab [ Submitted by Hermiefun ] Coenobita purpureus - Blueberry land hermit crab [ Submitted by Hermiefun ] Coenobita rugosus - Wrinkled land hermit crab [ Submitted by OtaS ] Coenobita scaevola - Red Sea land hermit crab [ Submitted by Tony Coenobita ] Coenobita spinosus - Spiny land hermit crab [ Submitted by Wai ] Coenobita variabilis - Australian land hermit crab [ Submitted by Happy_Crabbie ] Coenobita violascens - Viola land hermit crab


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14 Mar 2016: Some extra features of the website that have not been updated in a long time have been removed. Broken links to other websites in the Crab Care section have been removed.

Care Sheets

Care Sheets
Our very basic care sheet is available for download in Australian and American English. Please refer to our Crab Care section for more thorough explanations.


If quoting any text from this website, please reference back to our page with a hyperlink. Do not copy any images without the original photographer's permission.


What shells should I be buying?

You should buy a wide variety of unpainted gastropod shells that your hermit crabs can wear. This includes shells of different type, size, shape and mass. You can even buy multiple copies of the same shell to reduce the likelihood of hermit crabs fighting each other for the same shell. Hermit crabs may change into smaller shells if they feel more comfortable in them. Different species of hermit crabs tend to prefer different types of shells. For example, C. variabilis, C. clypeatus and C. compressus love Phasianella, Turbo and Nerita shells respectively.

What shells should I avoid?

Be careful when choosing shells for your hermit crabs. Do not assume that any gastropod shell up for sale is an ideal piece of clothing for your hermit crabs. Do not buy:
1.  Painted shells, since they are a waste of money and are a health hazard to your hermit crabs. The paint may stick to hermit crabs and trap them inside their shells.
2.  Shells with holes or broken parts in them, since they will cause the hermit crab's shell water to leak.
3.  Angaria shells, shells with a long spear protruding out to the side or bivalve shells.

How do I encourage a hermit crab to change shells?

Hermit crabs cannot be forced to change shells unless they are tortured. They would rather let you rip their limbs off than to give up the shell they are wearing, even if they do not feel comfortable in it. However, some hermit crabs are attracted to shells that were previously worn by another hermit crab. You can trick them into thinking that the shells were previously used by rinsing the shells in salt water. If your hermit crab insists wearing a shell far too small for it, try offering slightly larger versions of the same type of shell.

How do I remove the paint from painted shells?

Try boiling the shells in hot water and then peeling the paint off with your fingernails or tweezers. Otherwise, you can try nail polish remover, but make sure that you wash the shell thoroughly afterwards to remove the bad odours. If you still cannot remove the paint, then you will have to throw it out.
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