Hermit Crab Types

Did you know that there are more than five hundred different species of hermit crabs? Of these, less than ten are commonly kept as pets. These small crustaceans are known for being sociable and easy to care for. As pets, they will rarely pinch their owners if they are cared for properly. Their wild counterparts, on the other hand, often make unfriendly pets.

In general, there are two main types, the land and the marine crab. Most crabs kept as pets are land crabs, which have adapted to living on beaches and only return to the ocean to lay their eggs. All of the species listed below are considered land creatures.

Large Variety Of Colors

Another distinguishing factor that can help hermit crab aficionados tell them apart is their color. Hermit crabs come in a surprisingly wide range of colors, from red and orange to dark purple, brown, and gray. The most popular hermit crab types kept as pets include:

Purple Or Coenobita Brevimanus

purple hermit crab in grassThe ‘purple crab,’ or Coenobita brevimanus. A relatively large species, it is found on the western coasts facing the Pacific Ocean. Known for the purplish or dark brown color of its exoskeleton and blue-green eyes, this unique coloration makes it a favorite among pet these owners.

The Coenobita clypeatus is commonly known as the Caribbean hermit crab because it is found on Caribean beaches and in Florida. Among the most common species in the wild, it is also known as a tree crab, pincher crab, and soldier crab, and can live 20 to 30 years in captivity.

Caribbean hermit crabs often have a large purple claw. It is the most common species kept as a pet.

Ecuadorian or Pacific

The Ecuadorian or Pacific hermit crab, officially known as the Coenobita compressus, is among the smallest types kept as a pet. This popular species can be dark gray, yellow, or orange in color. They only grow to be about a centimeter long.

Though they are tiny, they can move surprisingly quickly. Coupled with their small size, there is a more significant chance of these crabs escaping their cage if it does not have a secure lid.

strawberry or coenobita perlatusThe strawberry hermit crab, or coenobita perlatus, has earned its name because of the red color of its body, which often has small white spots that make it look like a strawberry. The baby crabs have a paler color, developing a darker shade over time.

Long Life Span

Like the Caribbean hermit crab, these can live for a long time with proper care. As pets, they are less common than other hermit crabs on this list, although they can be found in Australia and in the United States.

The Coenobita rugosus is found in Australia and the southwestern Pacific, as well as in Africa. When this crab feels threatened, it will respond by tapping or clicking its front claw on its shell, producing a chirping noise.

Diet And Color

The diet of the coenobita rugosus influences its color, which can be white, pink, blue, green, tan, or brown.

Finally, the boxer crab, orĀ  Paguristes pugil, is known for its unique appearance, which is similar to that of a snail. While popular among hermit crab aficionados, this crab is not as widely found in pet stores as some of the other types on this list.