Hermit crabs are complex animals who can live over 30 years in their wild natural habitat, the tropical seashore. As social beings, they thrive in large colonies, where they often sleep piled up together. They enjoy climbing, foraging, and exploring and have even been discovered to collaborate in teams to find food. When injured, the sensitive hermit crabs will rub and nurse at a wound.
Every single land hermit crab sold in souvenir shops – thousands upon thousands every year – has been caught from the wild, as these animals do not breed readily in captivity. Before being sold, they are kept in crowded conditions and forced to inhabit colorful painted shells–even having their natural shells cracked open with a metal lever press at one dealer.
After purchase, most do not live for more than a few months to a year. They spend their short captive lives in tiny, barren, arid cages, usually slowly perishing from suffocation because their modified gills require high humidity to breathe. These crabs also need deep substrate to molt and grow; without it, their bodies will halt the molting process until their death. Many are slowly poisoned by chlorinated tap water and the toxic paint adorning their shells. Hermit crabs don’t care if they’re pink or purple, but they pay with their lives because we do.
Please, help end the plight of the hermies. Never purchase a hermit crab as a trinket; instead, adopt a crab in need! Explore our page to find out more ways to help!