Is this a molt sac?

Questions about hermit crabs that abandoned their shell.
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emmac350
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Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Toodles has been trying to find a new shell for the last week. She's had trouble maneuvering her abdomen into the shells (not the usual stick in the abdomen then grab the shell with her legs, more of a abdomen won't get into the shell sort of thing) and I managed to get a picture of what appears to be causing her problems.

Image

Questions:

1. Is that a molt sac?
2. If not, have you ever seen one of these before to know what it is?
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by CrabbyJo »

Emma, that thing looks blue? Is that what I'm seeing? And if I didn't know better, maybe I'm making it up, but when I zoom in, it almost looks like eggs! I swear they are supposed to be red or - oh wait, that's PP's! She's an E - could that be eggs?
From what I understand, a molt sac is almost black in color. This thing is a pretty blue lol.
Am I looking at the right thing?
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emmac350
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Yeah, that's what I'm looking at. I have NO CLUE what it is. It's hard for her to get it into a shell, like she can't move it easily on her own.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v50/e ... CN3396.jpg

The link is to a bigger version of the picture.
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by ladybug15057 »

It certainly looks to me like a water/molt sac. Look inside the left side of Squirmy's shell. Here is a closer view but a little blurry. To me they look almost a 'clear-ish' in coloring, and the closer they get to molting they will begin to turn a grayish in coloring, and then to a darker smokey gray. The darker the sac gets, the closer they are to molting. Seems a couple hermies also begin to get restless due to these and begin to shell shop a little more like it irritates them.
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Yeah, that looks about like it. I'm watching her closely - she's been seeming restless, but at the same time she's really...slow. She'll just sit around with her entire carapace up to abdomen hanging out of shells like she's too hot, or tired to move. I'll be home all day from tomorrow until Sunday, so hopefully if something happens (i.e. surface molt as she hasn't been digging at all) I'll be able to catch it.
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Marie - what are the kind of 'globs' just inside of her shell opening? They're yellow with a bit of a pink outside edge now - she's been hanging out of her shell far enough to see them. I got to see her gills, which was cool, and she's using one of the small sets of legs to rub the blobby yellow things. I'm starting to worry about her as she's spent most of today hanging out of her shell like she is in the picture, with her little legs rubbing the blue molt sac and the yellow folded/blob things.
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Okay, I moved this topic to molting as it's a more appropriate place for this topic.

I just checked in on Toodles again and she's changed from her bigger turbo into Nibs' old shell. Problem is, her abdomen really can't fit into Nibs' old shell, and her carapace and legs look HUGE. I honestly think that she's about to surface molt on me, as she really appears to be swollen in water to try to split the old exo. I really don't want to move her and stress her out more than I imagine she already is. She's on the uppermost level and it can be easily isolated from the other crabs just by removing the bridge from that level. They can't get to it any other way, so I figure that would be isolation enough in that case - anybody think I should move her to another tank, or does the 'remove the bridge' idea (so as not to have to subject her to all the changes of humidity, heat, etc. in moving her) sound like it would work well enough?
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Just walked into the room and Toodles is streaking. She's actively trying to get into a shell, and I'm trying not to scare her. Her abdomen looks funny - I don't know how to describe it other than that. It seems swollen, and the underside is completely clear with white spots on it. The very tip (the anus?) of her tail keeps moving back and forth but she's seeming to have a hard time getting herself situated right to get her abdomen in the shell. As soon as she's in, I'm going to give her a dip in the salt water, because her abdomen has a decent amount of coconut fiber on it now.

She's definitely female - pleopods on the left side of the abdomen. Her carapace looks like it has wrinkles in it (streaks going up and down it) - perhaps another sign of the necessity of a molt soon?

I'll keep ya'll updated on this, but I'm trying really hard not to stress hardcore right now. It's like we can tell others all day to stay calm and help them do what they need to, but as soon as it happens to us we can't remember a thing.
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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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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Trying to keep all info on this in one place.

I didn't have a glass that I trusted as clean enough for Toodles (our dishwasher has been failing a lot recently). So I got out the KK I use for expanding EE and dipped Toodles and a couple of shells in salt water and put them in the KK. She really was trying to get on a shell but couldn't stabilize it long enough to get her abdomen into it. She's really having a hard time with her abdomen. It looks heavy and swollen, but with nothing with which to compare it, I don't know for sure.

I set up the ISO while she was in there and moistened the sand (I didn't get all the sand damp, just the top layer), put in fresh food and water, and a bunch of shells. I wet and microwaved a baggie of moss from the Addiction store and put it in there to help with humidity since the only contents of the ISO are 2 cocohuts, 2 water bowls, a food shell, shells for Toodles, and the humidity gauge.

Humidity is currently 66, temp is 72.4 (just turned on the UTH).

Just put Toodles in there next to the shell pile (layout from left to right is as follows; the line is the UTH:

|Cocohut Moss Cocohut Saltwater bowl
|Humidity/Temp Shells Food Fresh water bowl)


She's trying to get into a more appropriately sized shell now (she kept trying to get into Nibs' old shell that's WAY too small), and I'm keeping a close eye on her. At this point, while she won't let me steady the shell for her, she isn't afraid of me moving around and watching her like she was initially. I think she realizes that I'm trying to help, not hurt her. I'll let you know if she gets into a shell.

EDIT: She's still not in a shell, but temperature's currently 72.3 and humidity's 73. Not high enough for a streaker, but getting there. Top's mostly covered, except for small strips at either end of the tank to try to encourage airflow throughout the tank.
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by ladybug15057 »

The ‘blobby’ things as you are calling them are normal Emma so no worry there. Most times one doesn’t see them due to how they are normally tucked in their shell, or it could be because the hermie is so premolt that they become so obvious.
If it were me, I would have to iso her. Majority of the molts here happen throughout the night with only occasional molts during the day. I would be afraid I would be sleeping when she molted. I would not remove the net. What if she wants down from the second level? In such a delicate state she could get seriously injured if she fell from it. A hermie doesn’t stop and think “hey, that is a drop off” instead they walk right off.
Rarely does a hermie leave their shell for molting Emma, but I have read where there were (even though rare) a couple crabbers who had their hermies leave their shells to molt. But one thing for sure, the more one fusses the more stressed the hermie becomes. Due to her streaking, I would put her in iso for her own protection. If she is that close to molting she is giving off an ‘odor’ and surely the others can smell it. (I usually can) Put a wide selection of shells in with her, even the one you feel is too small for her. A small shell is better than no shell. Try to bump the humidity a little too.
Personally I have had premolters move into shells way too small wher they were lucky if they could pull their eye stalks in. Yet after they molted, they were able to pull back into their shell with room to spare.
To move to iso to try to cause less stess I move their favorite hidey with them if they have one. I take some of the substrate where they have been resting at and place both in the same area in the iso. My iso’s are set up as mini main tanks and are within the same temp and humidity % as the main tank too, so no adjusting needed there.
And yepper, I know all too well it is sooooo easy writing to others, calm down, relax, they know what they are doing. Grab those pacing slippers and pace. But we need to do so too. Take a deep breath and give her all you know she needs and let her be. It is unknown yet too if the hermies can pick up on our anxiety too… so pace Emma and when it gets hard…don’t bother her, come here and post! Good Luck!!
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