Is this a molt sac?

Questions about hermit crabs that abandoned their shell.
CrabbyJo
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by CrabbyJo »

Hey Emma, having had crabs for about the same amount of time you've had Toodles, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that your little darling seems to be doing fine. It's encouraging that she's putting up doorways even tho she can hardly move - it shows she has instincts still strongly intact to keep herself in a darkened, private place.
She isn't sitting lethargically, she's being as active as she can be considering her swollen state. I too have heard of some crabs tossing their shells to molt. On another forum there was a little girl whose crab left her shell and burrowed down in her iso, only to come up a couple of weeks later to put it back on again.
I also had a crab toss her shell while molting, she sent it right up to the surface and kept herself down in her little hole (she had a window open on the side of the tank and I could see her). She came up a week later and got another shell and is still fine.
I think you are doing great - keeping the humidity up so she doesn't have to worry about her abdomen drying out, she's got herself all cozied away, and now you really get to use the pacing slippers!
I think if I were her I'd have given up on a shell, too.

From here on out, you aren't allowed to mention "the smell" until the end of each posting, if you feel so inclined. :) I think you should be feeling encouraged she's still got the drive to close you out! lol
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emmac350
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Haha, sorry, CJ - didn't mean 'the smell' to freak you out. Last night she pushed both the shells that were in the cocohut into the front of the door - can't see a thing. I've been trying to leave her alone, just turn on and off the heating element during the day.
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emmac350
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Went out to dinner with the husband. Changed food in her tank before I left, she still hasn't touched it. I left the night glow bulb on when I left as the tank's been a bit cold for my taste (the hottest the warm side air gets with it on is 78F, so I figured it would be okay. Came home to find Toodles in another shell that didn't fit right basking in it. She's since moved, but I think I'm going to leave the light on tonight. I'm open to discussion, but if she enjoyed it that much...I want her to be comfortable.
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emmac350
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

This story has a happy ending!!!! I went to grab the food from the main tank and add some water to the moss in the ISO (trying to keep up humidity but it's been hard lately, what with the cold snap and needing the heat lamp 24/7 to keep her from getting too cold), and I realized that there were two shells on top of each other. Upon closer inspection, the top shell had some skinny little legs peeking out of it. I will admit that since she didn't move at all while I was messing with her tank, I nudged her shell a little bit...and two seconds later she was back in the cocohut. But she fit in her shell! She actually factually fit! Okay, maybe that's really corny for me to say, but it feels like it's been forever, especially when the husband and I generally end up just sitting around trying to stay awake at work right now (temporarily assigned to office duty, where I occasionally answer a phone...occasionally) and she was all I had to think about. I didn't get to count legs, claws, eyes, antennae, etc. yet, but she obviously can move around pretty well. :D

But she's okay, and those pacing slippers have done me well.

I've now officially had a surface molt and gotten through it in one piece.
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ladybug15057
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by ladybug15057 »

Well congratulations on your first successful surface molt. Glad to hear you were able to make it through with the pacing slippers. (I had no doubt Toodles would make it!) :P
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emmac350
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Yeah, I was hopeful even though her tank had an odor (which is hard to describe...kind of like dead smell, but...not) because it didn't spread to the whole house. Last night she attacked the food bowl with gusto (she was in it for at least half an hour), eating some of everything. Hopefully in a few days she'll be back in the main tank! It's so nice to see her fitting in a shell again. :)
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CrabbyJo
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by CrabbyJo »

Wow Emma, lucky girl! So glad to hear Toodles is doing great! It was so interesting hearing your descriptions and experience, it gives me an idea of what to expect to see for an impending surface molt, so I won't be so freaked out if it happens to me! Great job taking care of her, you are such a good crabby mom! You set it all up so she could feel fine doing what she needed to do, and you left her be so she wouldn't be stressing. Congratulations! -.- :) :D
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emmac350
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Crud! I don't think Toodles molted yet after all...she's in the molting position shown on CSJ! And the only reason I know this is I was trying to tidy up the ISO, thinking that she'd be okay with it as I didn't think she was in the almost upside-down shell in the one cocohut (one cocohut had a shell upside-down in it, one cocohut had a shell that was right-side up as if it were housing a crab). So I moved the cocohut to put the shell back out for her to see (I'm keeping shells clustered around each other so she'll only have to go to one place to find them) and there was Toodles, all tucked in, laying on her left side. I panicked as soon as I saw her and took a good hard look as I was putting the cocohut back down over her, and she appeared almost to be pulsating as if she were using every leg and muscle (I know they don't have muscles like we do, but that's how it looked) to work off her entire exo at once (she didn't seem to be doing it like humans take off pants, one leg at a time, but rather as if she were trying to take off a glove by removing all the fingers at the same time).

The movement could have been my imagination or from the movement of the cocohut causing a shed exo to move but now I feel just awful. Back to the pacing slippers...

Edited to add: She's moved into a sitting-up position, but the crab parts I can see have normal crab eyes. I'm so confused...and there wasn't any exo that I could see in either cocohut. My head's exploding with uncertainty.
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emmac350
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Toodles has been in ISO for almost 3 weeks now. Two nights back, I was changing her food and noticed she was out of the cocohuts so I checked both of them for an exo. No luck. So unless she ate it all (or ate it down to pieces I couldn't see on top of the sand), she didn't molt.

Given that info, when do I let her out of ISO and put her back into the main tank? She gets into her food nightly and seems to eat a decent amount; perhaps she's getting ready for a molt now? She's finally staying in a shell without too much of a problem, which is nice for my nerves.

Any input on this? I feel bad keeping her separated from everybody else, but I don't want her to have problems like she did last time.
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Rack, 23 Sep 08; Benny, 23 Sep 08; Slightly, 3 Jan 09; Nibs, 3 Jan 09; Curly, 3 Jan 09; Spaz, 5 Jul 09

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CrabbyJo
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by CrabbyJo »

Oh my, Emma! What a dilemma! I'm right there with you, I'd be wondering like crazy too.
Does her color look just the same? Is she hairy? Take a good look at her next time you can, and see if she does look different to you. I had to do that with a couple of crabs, thinking they had not molted, but on closer inspection saw hair, black tips, and actually their color DID look a little different.
I think you can help put your mind at ease if you take a good close look at her. Silly crab! :)
6 hermit crabs - 3 PPs and 3 Equadorians
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Please feel free to share information from this website, but please be sure to give credit and a link back to the information. Failure to give credit is plagiarism. Don't take credit for someone else's information.
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