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Purple Pincher Hermit Crab Care Guide

The Species: Purple Pincher Hermit Crabs (Coenobita clypeatus) also known as Caribbean Hermit Crabs, Soldier Crabs, West Atlantic Crabs or Tree Crabs are native to the West Atlantic, Bahamas, Belize, Southern Florida, Venezuela, the Virgin Islands, and the West Indies, inhabiting shoreside tropical forests where they actively climb trees. They are incredibly social, not coping well when on their own. Unfortunately due to them being difficult to breed in captivity, almost all Hermit Crabs are wild caught and forced to go through an incredibly stressful process which is very harmful to them.



Enclosure: This species is both terrestrial and arboreal and should be in glass terrariums. As adults, for a pair, these animals should be kept in an minimum enclosure size of 45x45x60cm the larger the colony, we say that an ideal enclosure size is 90x45x60cm up to 90x34x90cm the larger the enclosure should be. The enclosure must have a deep base to provide a deep layer of substrate.


Being a tropical species they need suitable substrate made from a soil based substrate, we would recommend Arcadia Earth Mix however other substrates are also appropriate such as ProRep Bio Life Forest, is is also important to provide a sand based substrate we wouldn't generally using arid substrates such as arid soils. Hermit Crabs need a deep layer of substrate of a minimum of 6" with an ideal depth of 8-12", this is because when Hermit Crabs moult, they must bury themselves deep within the substrate making it vital to give them a deep layer.


Various decor and apparatus should be included to provide as natural of an enclosure as possible. Woods, rocks, caves, trees and foliage are all suitable to use for this species along with two deep water bowls, one for fresh water and one for salt water, these should be readily available as well.

Heating: These animals should be kept at a temperature range of 23-26 degrees celcius (74-78 degrees farenheight). They should be provided with a hot and cool end and with a basking spot to reach peak temperatures. Heating should be provided by a nano heat lamp or a heat mat on a thermostat, all heating should be on a 12 hour cycle, turning off at night to provide a natural drop in temperature.

Lighting: Crabs don't require lighting such as UVB but providing them with a day/night sequence can help improve their wellbeing. This can be accomplished using UVB or LED lighting LED lighting can help with plant growth if live plants are included within the enclosure. All lighting should be on a 12 hour cycle.



Humidity: Being a species residing within arid grasslands, Hissing Cockroaches should have levels of humidity of approximately 70-80% and should ideally not raise above that. These humidity levels can be reached by spraying the enclosure daily with water or by setting up a misting system.

Diet: Crabs are omnivorous meaning they eat both vegetation and protein. Hermit Crabs eat vegetables including carrots, lettuce, parsley, spinach, and corn, fruit including coconut, mango, apples, grapes, and pears, meats including seafood, silversides and chicken. Other foods such as grains, peanut butter, eggs, seeds, algae and aquatic vegetation.


Water is also an extremely important aspect to an animals diet. They can acquire their water by by drinking the water droplets after spraying the enclosure, we generally recommend RO water or mineral water due to tap water containing chlorine which can be harmful to some animals.


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