Do Hermit Crabs Molt at the same time? Why are my crabs missing?

Why is my hermit crab missing?

If you have two or more hermit crabs of the same age and size, sometimes they could frustrate you, especially if you’re a beginner that have little or no knowledge about them. One of my friends who started keeping crabs came running to me one day and was anxious that his 3 hermit crabs have gone missing at the same time for few days. I just laughed and told him why, and he was surprised. So If you’re new to keeping hermit crabs, this might happen to you. So I decided to make his article to help newbies.

Do hermit crabs molt at the same time? Yes, they are likely to molt at the sametime if they are of the same age and size.

If you’re reading this article, it means you could have had the same experience with my friend I told you about.

To be sincere, it is so painful and heart breaking to lose a pet you’re fond of.

Related: Can Hermit Crabs live with Cichlids?

Imagine yourself being a newbie and your 3 hermit crabs went missing at once for days, how would you feel? thinking that they might have been dead or lost forever.

To be honest I did feel broken.

So this article is specifically for newbies that might be down thinking that they have lost their previous pets all at once.

The simple answer to this is, your hermit crabs are molting, and they are probably hiding in the substrates at the bottom of your tank or inside the various caves in their tank.

Relatedv Can Shrimps live with Crabs?

Are you relieved now? (lol). Don’t worry, I know how it feels.

There is every possibility that all your hermits might be Molting at the same time.

This happen so often, especially if the crabs are of the same age and size, which means their Molting period is very likely to happen at the same time or slightly one after the other.

(maybe one goes missing a day, the other goes missing the next 2 days etc)

Related: Can Crabs and Frogs cohabitate?

So this is why all your hermits seems to have disappeared at once, leaving you in shock.

Like I explained.

Although hermit crabs are very likely to molt at the same time, but it depends on their age Gap and size.

Because you don’t expect older ones among them to molt the same time the smaller ones molt.

Related: Why is my Crab eating sand?

I hope I have answered your question and settled your curiosity.

Can 2 Hermit Crabs Molt at the Sametime?

If you’re still curious to know if 2 or more hermit Crabs could be able to molt, all at once, then.

Yes, 2 hermit crabs can Molt at the Sametime. This likely happens if they are of the same age and size, thus their Molting period comes at once.

Like I explained, even if you have 100 hermits in the same tank which are of the same age and size, you will be surprised that more than 30 might go all in at once.

Related: Can Vampire Crabs cohabitate with Fiddler Crabs?

So yes, hermit crabs and even more could go in at once to molt. It’s all normal, and there’s nothing to worry about.

Should I Separate my Molting Hermit Crabs?

Now you have known why your crabs disappeared. You might be too curious about it, so your next question might be. should I Separate them during molt?

No, molting hermit crabs should not be touched nor separated. You will risk harming or killing them if you touch them.

I know you might be too curious to get your hermits out to be active again, but things doesn’t work like that.

The worst thing you could do is to try to disturb them at this critical point in time.

Related: Can Vampire Crabs live with Hermit Crabs?

At this time, they are very weak and vulnerable and any slightest thing could hurt or even kill them.

That’s why they normally hide and stay in hiding till their new shell is a bit strong to handle them, and they must have reactivated their muscles.

Forget about curiosity and anxiousness, If you love your hermits, you won’t think of disturbing them when they’re molting.

Related: Why is my Crayfish not molting?

The highest love they need at that time is peace and later on when they come out is calcium, so that the new shell will build more stronger.

How long does it take for Hermit Crabs to Molt?

I know this is the next question you might ask. Although this article can’t be complete without explaining the time duration hermit Crabs could take to molt.

How long it could take a hermit crab to molt varies. Average size and big size hermit crabs could take between 4-8 weeks to complete the molting process, while smaller hermits could complete the process in a few days.

To be frank, nobody actually know the exact time a crab could be able to complete the Molting process because all of them have different Molting time etc.

Related: 4 reasons your Crayfish is burrowing

So even if they are of the same size and age, some crabs will take longer time to Molt and build a new shell before coming out again.

Some things that contributes to how long they could stay to build new shell includes the amount of calcium they stored before molting. The calcium will help boost the new shell.

Related: Do aquarium snails hibernate?

Again big crabs naturally takes more time to Molt than younger ones.

Do Hermit Crabs Eat each other when Molting?

I have heard some people say this in forums and I decided to add it in this article to clarify it. So do hermit crabs eat each other when Molting?

No, hermit crabs don’t eat each other when Molting. They only eat their exoskeleton after Molting for calcium to support the new shell.

Nowadays, there are alot of rumors everywhere about things.

They don’t eat each other after molting.

Related: 10 Vegetables Nerite Snails could eat

But there is every possibility that the newly molted ones might be hurt by others that didn’t molt because the newly molted crabs will be weak and vulnerable, little wonder why they normally go into hiding untill they are strong to come out again.

Why do Hermit Crabs Bury themselves?

You might ask, when your hermits got missing in your tank, where exactly do they go? The simple answer is, they are hiding in caves or bury themselves in the substrates at the bottom of the tank.

Why do hermit crabs bury themselves? Hermit crabs do bury themselves in substrates whenever they want to Molt.

Now you understand where your hermits go and why they do it when you thought they’re missing.

Related: Why your African dwarf frogs could stop eating

The fact is, Molting process is very stressful and painful, so in order to have total peace and true freedom from anything, they will dig holes on the substrates at the bottom of your tank and bury themselves in there to hide.

There they will Molt and come out after the new shell is ready to carry them.

Related: Can Sunfish change color?

Apart from burying themselves to molt, they might also do it to lay eggs too.


Once your tank is secured, you have nothing to worry about when your pet hermit crabs gone missing.

Just let them be and prepare to give them good amount of calcium foods the next time you see them.