Hermit Crab Articles

An Introduction to Hermit Crabs

Building a Great Crabitat

Choosing a Substrate for my Land Hermit Crabs

Creating a Great Home for your Hermit Crab

Feeding your Land Hermit Crab

Food and Water for Your Hermit Crab

Hermit Crab Cages

Hermit Crab Food

Hermit Crab Mating - Does Hermit Crab Breeding Occur in Captivity?

Hermit Crab Molting

Hermit Crab Molting - Understanding the Molting Process

Hermit Crab Shells

How many species of land hermit crabs are kept as pets?

Interesting Hermit Crab Facts

Land Hermit Crab Molting

Recommended Diet for a Pet Land Hermit Crab

Selecting your Land Hermit Crab

The Basics of Hermit Crab Behavior

The Daily Care of Hermit Crabs

The Importance of Hermit Crab Shells

The Importance of Temperature for Hermit Crabs

The Ugly Truth About Pretty Shells

Tips for Handling Your Hermit Crab

Water is the Most Important Hermit Crab Need

What Kind of Water Should My Hermit Crab Drink?



In the United States, there are typically two species sold in captivity for pet ownership. The two most popular crabs in the United States are:


Coenobita clypeatusCoenobita clypaetus

Native homeland – Caribbean, live inland
Common nicknames – Caribbean crab, land hermit crab, purple pincher (PP), tree crab,  or soldier crab
Distinctive Characteristics – has a large purple pincher claw, tan-colored head with round eyes, speckles on claws and legs called setae (rigid, hair like bristles) covering its body, dark purple legs with red or orange, left walking leg maneuvers with large purple claw


Coenobita compressusCoenobita compressus

Native homeland – Ecuador, live at the seashore
Common nicknames - Ecuadorian crab, E-crab, E, or Eccie
Distinctive Characteristics – has same-colored claws and darker leg tips than the Ecuadorian crab, stripes on the sides of the head with elongated eyes, only has small amount of setae on both front claws, vary in color from orange to tan to gray, uses two left legs
Activity – generally more active than the Caribbean crab and make chirping noises
Special Needs – need salt water in their tanks to drink and bathe in



The Caribbean and Ecuadorian land hermit crab species will live together quite comfortably.

If these two descriptions do not fit your land hermit crab, then it is probably an exotic breed imported from the Pacific Rim to the United States.