Posts Tagged "hermit crab breeding"


February 14, 2020 2018 baby, 18 months old. The babies from the 2018 spawn are now 18 months old and some are really starting to look like small adult crabs. It’s hard to believe I used to pick them up in an eyedropper. Others, from the same brood, are still quite small. The 2019 adopters and I are working together to try and figure out the reason(s) this very different growth may be happening. It’s mysterious, as it’s not tank specific. For instance, I have some of both, kept in the same conditions, with no discernible reason for the big difference in size.   2019 baby who climbed all the way to the top of a clover sprout. He looks very pleased with himself, don’t you think?. The babies from the 2019 spawn are doing well–insofar as I can tell. I refuse to attempt a count of 700+ baby crabs that are still the size of peppercorns. Fortunately, the wonderful adoption folks at LHCOS are doing a fantastic job of approving an awesome group of adopters (application here) to give these babies new forever homes. Now they just have to GROW so they can get big enough to adopt out. Many adopters will pick their babies up at Crab Con in July, some will have them shipped after the conference.   The really exciting news for the breeding program, though, is that I will be working one-on-one with a nearby hermit crab enthusiast who has agreed to try her hand at raising zoeae–with some help from yours truly. Brianna will be taking any purple pincher spawn that I get this summer and raising them herself in a setup of my design and with my mentorship along the way. This is really exciting news, because we definitely need more people successfully breeding … and what better way than with a batch of already hatched zoeae and some personal instruction?   One of the Coenobita lila I hope will breed. Coenobita lila. BUT! (Yes, it gets better!) What has me super stoked about this news is that it means I can focus 100% of my energies now on breeding the exotic species that I have in my care. Last summer, my female Ecuadorian (Coenobita compressus) had eggs, but she didn’t spawn correctly, so there were no babies to raise. And I now have strawberries (C. perlatus) that have been with me for eight months and I’m hoping they will gift me with babies this year. Coenobita lila close up. AND …. drumroll …. through a very happy twist of fate, I now have a brand new species that (I believe) has...

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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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All good overnight. I now have almost 400 megalopa in the new transition tank. Some in the kreisel had actually done the last molt to become hermits—but in the water. They look so different, it was easy to tell. They drowned without taking a shell as a result. I think it was because I had a smaller volume of water in the kreisel that was also closer to the heater. The warmth pushes them to progress faster. It’s now set at 78 in the new transition tank which should help. This first picture is the very first little one from this second batch of eggs to choose a shell and come on land. The light-colored legs make me think this one might be an E. Time (really will) tell. The second picture shows the second one to come to land. He/she is in the pink shell, center of the picture. The little crabby pulled into the shell when I loomed over with the camera, but you can see the legs still propping up the shell. My holiday company starts arriving tomorrow so I probably won’t be posting much during the coming week. I still have SO much to do to prepare for that. Thanks for taking this journey with...

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I noticed today that a couple of the stage five zoeae aren’t orange like all the others have been, they’re an unusual blue (sort of grey-blue like an uncooked shrimp). In this picture, you can see the blue one above the two shells (center) and an orange one just to the right of the shells for comparison. Quite a difference. More than just a food thing (because they are all fed the same), I think this means that the last surprise spawn actually WAS from the small Ecuadorian that I saw near the pool (I adopted three late this summer and have been mostly leaving them alone so they could adjust to the new digs). I’m not prepared to call it as 100% an E, but I think this makes a lot of sense, especially given the level of cannibalism I’ve seen in this newer group. It’s off the charts—and they are fierce about it, too. Plus, many of the zoeae have been extremely fast and acrobatic in the wastewater when I try to put them back in the tank and many also haven’t colored up as quickly as the last batch. If so, I’m really stoked that this may be the case, but also worried for all the remaining PPs that are currently transitioning and getting eaten before I can even get to them to move them to safer waters. I probably lost several hundred today. Since they tend to transition first thing in the morning after I turn on the light and feed them, my new strategy is going to be trying to spot as many as I can (first thing in the morning) either pre-molt or mid-molt and move them over to the intermediate tank where they actually have sand and small shells to hide in while they harden up. Let’s hope it...

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