Pet-of-the-Day - Meet The Crabs

  • General
  • April 29, 2020

The Crabs can disappear for more than 6 months under the sand!

Your name:       Gabrielle Ferrara

Job title/department:     Information Service Assistant, Monroe Library

What kind of pet do you have (dog, cat, bird, etc.)?       Hermit Crabs

What is your pet’s name?     The Crabs

How did you come up with this name?    All 3 of my hermit crabs are of the same species, clypeatus, and look nearly identical to each other. When I first got them, they each had a different shell and were easy to tell apart, but as time went on, they began molting and swapping shells so frequently that I couldn't keep track any longer. Now I just call them The Crabs, collectively. They don't seem to mind.

How old is your pet?   5 years

What is your pet’s gender?   Male and female

Describe your pet in three words:    Adorable Furry Crustaceans

What is the thing your pet cannot live without?     Humidity

Can your pet do tricks? If so, what?     Yes! The Crabs have 3 main tricks: Play Dead, Escape, and Mischief. Play Dead is perhaps my least favorite trick, the little Crabs will go into one of the mini aquariums in their tank and stop moving. Sometimes they float if enough oxygen is in their shells, but most of the time they just sink, and chill out on the bottom of the tank with all their little legs sprawled out, this can last for up to an hour. Escape is one of their favorite tricks! They wait until I open the lid to their tank to feed them, and then they make their run for it. They climb, jump, run, and scurry all over the tank, trying to see if they can escape even for just 1 moment while I am busy. They will not even do anything exciting once they make it to the top of the opened tank, they just sit there basking in glory until I pick them up and move them back down. Mischief is their second favorite activity, they wait until the night after I clean up their tank and make all their decorations look all pretty before they run around like little maniacs knocking everything over and tearing down all the plants. I never trained them to do any of these tricks, I’m not even sure if Hermit Crabs can be trained.

What is the best trick your pet has taught you?      Patience. Every so often, all 3 crabs will decide to go down for a molt at the same time. Molting can take upwards of 6 months, and when all 3 crabs go down at the same time, I'm left with nothing but sand to look at. Sand that doesn't need to be fed, or taken care of. The most boring pet of all – sand.

Do you have a nickname for your pet?   The Crabs

You know your pet is in a good mood when he/she does this:   Chirps. Hermit Crabs will chirp for a variety of reasons, but my little ones do it most often when I give them fresh food. They'll gather around the food dish, move their little antenna and chirp.

Your pet’s favorite spot to hangout is:   The hanging coconut hut. Hermit Crabs really like coconuts.

Favorite toy:   Chola wood, they love climbing all over it and knocking it down.

One habit you would like to change:    None. My crabs are awesome.

Does your pet prefer to play with people, or other animals?    Hermit Crabs are social creatures, they LOVE being around other hermits.

Does your pet like children?   No

If you could ask your pet one question and they’d be able to answer it, what would it be?    I'd ask where they originally came from. All "pet" hermit crabs are taken from the wild. There have only been 2-3 documented cases of hermit crabs successfully mating in captivity. I'd like to know where my little crabs were born, if they have any fond memories of that area, and if I'm doing a well enough job recreating their natural habitat. I really just want them to be happy.

Can your pet read your emotions?     I highly doubt it, but even so, I try my best to only expose them to pure happiness and joy. It's hard enough being a crab.

Funniest moment you’ve had with your pet:     One time, I got pinched. That was fun.

What is the most rewarding aspect of owning your pet?   They're fun to watch and a great conversation starter - "I have crabs".