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Frederico and Saskia I’m pretty certain the Es mated this week (on August 6th). I have a hunch which of the two males mated with Saskia. I believe, based on follow-up protective behavior, that it was Frederico again, so this would be the same parents of last year’s successful brood. This would put spawning for the Es sometime on or around September 4th. I have yet to see any mating behavior in my Purple Pinchers and no sign of eggs. That’s fine with me. If they don’t mate until September, then I get a little bit of a break between batches. The full moon is still a week away, though, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they “went for it” then. My PPs are pretty reliable full-moon maters. Having a soak. As for the strawberries, it’s now 31 days since Abby was observed mating and then was subsequently brought to me to give her eggs a chance to hatch. I’ve seen no spawning, but I did observe her shifting around and acting broody earlier this week. However, that behavior seems to have stopped as of this morning, so I believe Abby dropped her eggs overnight somewhere in the tank. I did a search, but didn’t find anything that looked like eggs. I’m guessing they were consumed by the other crabs. I really wanted this to work first time out of the gate, but straws, as a species, are completely new to me and I still have a lot to learn about their behavior, mating or otherwise. I’ve also been spending some time thinking about the breeding program in philosophical terms, too, including the bioethics of what I’m trying to do. Also what my long-term goals are, and just generally trying to figure out what I want my role to be in this long-term breeding project. Last year, I tried to induce spawning in Blue when I was sure it was time and she wasn’t going into the saltwater on her own. She was terrified as she went underwater, scrambled out as fast as she could, and then spent hours drying the eggs (which clearly hadn’t been ready after all). Then two days later she cast them onto some wood in the tat and the other crabs ate them. (I gathered some and added them to the saltwater, but none hatched.) I had clearly interfered at the wrong time and I took that as a reminder that I don’t actually know more than nature and that it’s not really under my control–it’s all up to the crabs. So, I won’t be forcing any human-induced spawning on Abby. I want her...

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Crab Con was a great success. If you attended, thank you! It was amazing to meet all my virtual crabby friends and share the adventure with them. If you couldn’t make it, I hope to see you next year. We should be announcing a venue within the next month, perhaps locating it in a different city next summer. Stay tuned! This is Abby, a gift from Xenocrab and Motorcrab, friends from the HCA forum. And Abby has eggs! I was also brought six strawberry hermits–one with eggs!–from various generous adopters and supporters of the breeding program and I’m hoping to get a shot at breeding straws this summer. Fingers crossed! Now the adopters will all begin logging their quarterly check-ins so that we can track these babies growth and behavior over time. I’ll plan to post results from the October check-in as the first one is really just a baseline and we’re all sort of figuring things...

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We’re busily assembling the swag and getting items for Crab Con Marketplace ready for sale. These are the official Crab Con canvas bags with our new logo embroidered on them. They are sturdy, a sustainable, unbleached cotton fabric, and roomy enough to hold plenty of purchases. If you aren’t coming to Crab Con but want to own your own, we have a limited quantity available for purchase prior to the conference. You can find them here. And here’s an example of the hermit-crab-themed pottery that will be available at the Marketplace. In addition to the usual pea pod dishes and flower dishes from my EarthWaterFireStudio Etsy shop, there will be pottery hides (especially for the larger hermits who no longer fit their cocohuts), pool ladders, ocean-themed dishes, puzzle feeders, and more. Hope you can join us! July 13 and 14 at the Best Western Lockport. Be there or be …...

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Our brand new logo, courtesy of Indonesian crabber Rizky Perdana Chandra Putrano Are you interested in attending the First Annual Crab Con International adoption event on July 13th, 2019? If so, our block of rooms in the (Best Western Lockport) conference hotel is filling up quickly. Reserve your spot now! We’ve got a variety of Saturday talks scheduled. Topics include: Creating and Maintaining a Bioactive Setup, Land Hermit Crabs Species Identification, Land Hermit Crab Breeding Methods, Involving Kids in Hermit Crab Care, and How To Build a Vertical Crabitat. In the Crab Con Marketplace we have: a first-rate shell vendor bringing shells for all your adult and baby crab needs, including a selection of beautiful had-carved turbos in hard-to-find sizes; handmade pottery crab dishes, pottery hides, ladders, and sculpted dishware; conference swag (buttons, t-shirts, bags and more); custom-blended dehydrated hermit crab foods; crochet climbing nets and hammocks; lengths of freshly harvested and power washed cholla wood; foraged mosses, lichens, bark, and various deciduous woods, and so much more! Don’t miss out. Hope to see you...

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Fingertip baby. The adoption weekend will be July 13th and the form to apply to adopt hermit crab babies is up! Adoption Application Form Some frequently asked questions: One hermit baby on the day he hatched. 1) Yes, there is an adoption fee. My goal has always been to see hermit crabs valued as exotic, long-lived pets. And if I–who painstakingly raised them from birth–can’t value these special little creatures in that way, then who will? It feels like it’s up to me, from Day One, to expect the world to place a value on captive-bred hermits. All adoption fees will go toward funding future breeding attempts. A megalopa before taking a shell. 2) Yes, you can *request* a species as we get closer to the date, but I absolutely cannot guarantee I will be able to honor anyone’s special species requests. There are still too many unknowns in terms of survival and species count. Also, it is my firm conviction that ALL of these babies are special, no matter their species. 3) If adopters want to swap among themselves to make sure they get the species/crab they most want, I have no problems with that. 4) The babies will come with official, signed adoption papers, a travel bin, and some basic supplies to help get you back home safely. (Adopters should plan to bring their own digital gauge for monitoring conditions on the trip home.) 5) Additional babies will *likely* be available at the end of the adoption weekend. If so, approved adopters may get more than two, as desired. I just can’t predict how many I will have until much closer to the date, so I’m being conservative now. Taking his first steps on land. 6) I will provide a sheet to each adopter with dates and information slots for the quarterly growth and behavior check-ins. 7) The first 50 (fifty) approved adoption applications will be guaranteed (as much as one can–barring any tragic, unforeseen losses). All applications received after #50 will be added to a waiting list and filled in the order they were...

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106 days old. This adorable little guy is 106 days old. My last full count (January 8th) showed 204 survivors (out of 244 that exited the water in shells and walked onto land). A full count takes many hours, a complete tank change, and several days of follow-up because when they are this small some are always underground molting. These counts are time-intensive but important since I’m tracking survival rates over time for these very unique captive-bred individuals. Most of the Caribbean hermit crab (Coenobita clypeatus) babies have moved into 4-5 mm opening shells but many of the Ecuadorian hermit crab (Coenobita compressus) babies are still in smaller 2-3 mm shells like this one in the tiny turbo. Es are definitely a slower growing crab, even though they eat everything. This feisty little fellow was even picking off and eating tiny bits of dead skin from the callouses on my palm. Yikes. If it wasn’t clear by now, I’ve definitely got some skin in this...

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