Do Fiddler Crabs Hibernate? why they do

do fiddler crabs hibernate? why they do

Have you ever seen your fiddler crab disappear in its tank for a long time and reappear again? You might be wondering what is wrong with it. Fiddler crabs are brackish water crabs, they are aggressive like other crabs, and are funny too. They are not fully aquatic, so, they need land to get air to breath and burrow. Sometimes they will burrow on the land and disappear for a whole month and still come out later. If you have noticed this and you want to know why then read to the end.

Do Fiddler crabs hibernate? Fiddler crabs create tiny, sometimes elaborate burrows up to two feet deep for mating, refuge, and hibernation during winter.

Fiddler crabs are very active crabs during the day and do sleep at night, but for some reasons, they will disappear for a long time and only come out when it’s convenient for them to do so.

The main reason why a Fiddler crab will go into its burrow for a very long time is that it is hibernating down there.

Yes, Fiddler crabs do hibernate, and they normally do this in the winter.

If you are very familiar with them, you will realize that once the winter knocks, they will start digging their holes or burrows and after doing that, they will just move in and block the entrance.

This is to say, they bury themselves by blocking their holes with sand or stone and stay there sleeping till the winter is over, and the temperature is normal, then they will reappear again.

They do this because naturally, they don’t like living in cold weather, so, in the wild, they normally do this, but a room temperature or with a heater in place, they won’t have to do this unless they burrow just to Molt or have a short nap and not hibernation.

To get the record straight, hibernation is different from sleeping, although they are related, but the only difference is that hibernation is a very long sleep.

So, Fiddler crabs could sleep in their holes at night and still come out and be active during the day, but when they hibernate, they can sleep for weeks and even up to a month till the winter is over, and the temperature is normal again.

Don’t get me wrong, although they hibernate many of the times during winter in their burrows, but sometimes they don’t hibernate down there, they just stay there doing nothing till the winter is over, and they will come out.

So, Fiddler crabs do hibernate, especially those in the wild, that’s why when you go to the shores during the winter, you will notice many burrows belongings to crabs.

Those burrows are where they are hiding and feeling the warm temperature below there, till the temperature of the sea is okay for them to come out.

For those in captivity, they might not have any need to hibernate as the room temperature and heater will prevent them from seeking warmness below.

This doesn’t mean your Fiddler crabs won’t burrow even if they have a heater, they will burrow not to hibernate, but to sleep, Molt, and lay eggs, that’s why it is very compulsory to provide enough land for this type of crab in their tank because they dwell more on land than in water.

So, fiddler crabs do hibernate and they do it in the winter, especially those of them in the wild.


When you notice that your fiddler crabs are hibernating, don’t disturb them till they come out again, then provide them with enough food to eat and regain strength.