Hermit Crabs are the most social and funny crustacean to keep in your tank, but sometimes they behave very strange and funny that you I’ll begin to wonder if it’s natural or not. I have read few threads where confused aquarium keepers are asking if hermit Crabs could share a shell. If you’re in this category of people asking this question, well, this article is for you.
Can two hermit crabs share a shell? Yes, two hermit crabs can share a shell, but they rarely do it.
I know you will be very surprised and shocked.
You might be wondering ” how possible?
We will learn all about it in this article.
Do you know that hermit crabs normally take possession of every empty shell they could see?, well, that’s the fact.
They normally love to stay in empty shells of other aquarium creatures such as snail’s shell, periwinkle shell etc, so that’s why it’s advise to always leave empty shells for your hermit crabs to stay in and move about with.
I have seen where a tiny hermit crab possessed the shell of a dead big hermit and also where 2 small hermits possessed a snail shell etc.
So asking if 2 hermit Crabs could be able to stay in one shell, yes, it’s possible and they sometimes do it, especially when there is scarcity of empty shells in their tank.
Although they do it, but this is not what you see everyday because they rarely do it because 2 hermits can’t occupy one shell peacefully without one trying to evict the other.
But if no one could be able to evict the other, then they will have no option than to stay together in that shell.
So 2 hermit crabs could stay in a shell, but if you ask me about 3 or more staying in a shell, well, I don’t think and I haven’t seen it happen before.
Can Hermit Crabs Share a Shell?
Hermit Crabs are known to occupy the shells of other dead aquarium animals. When an animal with a shell dies, this type of crab will scavenge the shell and use it as a home.
Can hermit crabs share a shell? Yes, hermit Crabs can share a shell they occupy with another hermit crab. But they rarely do it.
Although hermit Crabs can share a shell, but this is not very common, and so does not happen everyday, but once in a while.
It happens when there is total lack of shells for them to occupy.
If every crab has it’s own shell ready in the water, they won’t have to share a shell, but if for instance, there are 4 hermit crabs in the tank, and there happens to be only 2 empty shells, then the crabs will have no option than to share or manage those 2 shells.
They could be able to do this if they’re of the same size, if not, then the bigger ones will bully the smaller ones out of the shell and occupy it themselves.
Do Hermit Crabs wait in line for a Shell?
Knowing that hermit Crabs can occupy the empty shells of dead animals and use them as their home, you might be wondering how they do it, if they kind of wait in line to occupy the empty shells they find.
Do hermit crabs wait in line for a shell? Yes, hermit crabs wait in line to occupy empty shells. They do it in an orderly form, whereby the bigger ones are the first to take, then followed by the next in size.
Hermit crabs are kind of organized when it comes to selecting shells. They do it in an orderly manner, where the biggest will take a shell, followed by the next in size.
So they do wait in line to occupy a shell.
This is very common for hermits in the wild where there are alot of dead animal shells.
In a case where the shells are limited, those with equal size and strength might have to occupy one shell. ( I mean 2 crabs in one shell, not more than 2)
Why do Hermit Crabs need Shells?
You might be thinking, if they have their own shells or their bodies just like other crustaceans do, then why do they need empty shells to occupy?.
Hermit Crabs do occupy dead animal shells due to some reasons such as for protection, to cover their fragile body and to use them as their homes.
The 3 reasons I stated above are the main reasons why hermit Crabs look for empty shells to occupy, unlike other crustaceans.
If you watch their abdomen, it’s very fragile, and could be easily cut by any sharp object or by other aquarium animals, so they need shells to cover it.
Also to protect themselves from other animals, especially their predators, they will occupy a shell, in order to be safe.
We all know that they normally need shells to live in, so they need shells to make a home.
These are the main reasons they need shells.
So it’s very important to them, so you will have to provide it for them if you have hermit crabs in your tank.
How Long can Hermit Crab Live without a Shell
If shell is very important for them, the question is, ‘ how long can they live without a shell?
Hermit Crab can live till the end of it’s lifespan even without a shell. They occupy shells just for protection. Without predators, they will live to the end of their lifespan without shells.
Although giving your pet hermit crabs shells to occupy, especially when they have tank mates etc is very necessary, but not that it is a must to provide them with shells. No, it’s not.
So without shells, your hermit crab will still be okay, once it doesn’t have unsuitable tank mate etc.
The fact is, with or without shells, your hermit will still live till it’s too old and die, once there is no threat from other aquarium animals.
What Happens if a Hermit Crab can’t find a Shell?
You might be wondering if there is any negative effect of hermit crab staying without a shell. Well, shell is very important and necessary for them for protection and home, but what will happen if they can’t find any Shell?
Hermit Crab can still be okay even without having a shell, unless there are predators around.
They need the shells of other animals, but not as if their life depends on those shells, but they only use it for protection etc, so if a hermit crab can’t be able to find a suitable shell, it will still be alright, and nothing will happen to it, unless there are predators around.
Without shell, they normally stay among rocks and stones, especially when they sense threats.
How many Hermit Crabs can live together?
One of the questions people ask, especially beginners and inexperienced aquarium keepers ask is, ” how many Hermit Crabs can I be able to keep together? Well, if you’re are among them, then this article will also help you.
How many hermit crabs can live together? Hermit Crabs are very social and does not like being alone. 2 or more hermit crabs can live together, for the fact that the tank can contain them.
like I mentioned above, they’re very social and keeping them alone can have some negative effects on them, but once they’re many, they will be as lively as anything.
So therefore, you can be able to keep as many of them in a tank as you like, for the fact that it will contain them.