Hermit crabs are not picky with what they eat. They are omnivorous scavengers, which means they eat anything from decomposing crustaceans to meat, seaweed, and other plants.
Sometimes when they borrow or even steal their shells from other creatures, they eat the carcasses of the animals they ‘borrow’ shells from.
Harsh right? Well, all is considered fair game in the wild.
Since we’ve learnt a bit about their eating preferences, let’s delve a little bit deeper into how they eat and what exactly they can and cannot eat.
How do hermit crabs eat and drink?
Hermit crabs will utilize their sense of sight, smell, and taste so that they can acquire food. They have two pairs of antennae, and the shorter pair has several sensory hairs that help them smell food. They have a heightened sense of smell and taste which helps them detect their food. They are social animals that travel in groups while foraging and this is also how they find their food. They can also grab a quick meal when they notice another group of hermit crabs eating.
Hermit crabs have two claws or chelipeds, and one of them is bigger than the other. They use these claws to break food apart into smaller bits. They do not have teeth, so they use their small mouth parts to break down and grind the food into smaller pieces. They also use their claws to scoop up water so that they can drink.
What Fruits Can Hermit Crabs Eat?
Some fruits that hermit crabs enjoy include the following
What are some foods that hermit crabs eat?
Hermit crabs need a healthy supply of calcium, protein, vitamins and minerals.
Some of the foods that hermit crabs love to eat include the following;
- Fresh fruit
- Fish flakes
In the wild, marine hermit crabs will eat seaweed, algae, dead animals, small snails and coral reefs. Land hermit crabs on the other hand will replicate the same, in addition to some of the garbage and food left by human beings on the beach, some moss, and faeces.
What vegetables do hermit crabs eat?
- Some flower petals
What foods are not safe for hermit crabs?
As much as hermit crabs do not have a picky diet, they cannot eat everything. If you’re looking into getting a hermit crab as a pet, this section is for you.
The lists above give you a general idea of what they like to eat, but some food is not good for them.
Here are some examples;
Onions have a strong scent and consuming onions is fatal to them.
Just like onions, the smell is far too powerful for them to the stomach and they contain toxic elements that can allegedly cause breathing problems.
- All fruits containing citrus
Hermit crabs are repelled by citrus fruits because of their acidic nature and strong smell. The bark of citrus fruits is also said to contain pesticide properties.
Chocolate is too sugary for hermit crabs and will likely kill them.
- Processed foods
Processed foods contain high levels of sugar and chemicals which can kill hermit crabs, so try not to share your ordered food and snacks with them because it is far more unhealthy for them than it is for you.
Iodine is harmful and toxic for hermit crabs, they should not consume it in any form. When preparing salt water for them, use hermit crab salt or oceanic salt, do not by any means use table salt as a substitute.
- Food that has gone bad
Even though hermit crabs are omnivorous scavengers, food that has gone bad or is mouldy is toxic to hermit crabs. Do not use your hermit crabs as garbage disposal, the food you give to them must always be fresh. After each day, remove the food they did not eat previously from their tanks.
- Some dried meats
When purchasing dried meats for your hermit, make sure you inspect the ingredients list carefully. Some of them contain Ethoxyquin, which is a poisonous preservative sold in many dried meats.
- Fruit seeds
Avoid giving fruit seeds to your hermit crabs as food because some of them contain arsenic which can be harmful to its body cells.
Related Why Did My Hermit Crabs Die?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can hermit crabs eat honey?
Honey is not safe for hermit crabs. The sticky nature of honey can block their gills and disrupt their breathing, which can eventually cause them to suffocate.
The stickiness will also make their legs and body parts sticky and cause them problems while moving.
The honey will especially irritate stressed or sick hermit crabs.
How often should I change my hermit crab’s water?
Food and water in the hermit crab’s dwelling place should always be fresh. You should clean the bowls and containers and change the water daily. Make sure you provide a supply of both fresh and salty water.
What nuts do hermit crabs love to eat?
Hermit crabs love to eat nuts. Some of their favorites include walnuts, almonds, pecans, Brazil nuts, pistachios, chestnuts and peanuts.
What do baby hermit crabs eat?
Baby hermit crabs can eat the same diet as adult crabs as they are developing. Try giving them small amounts of fruits, vegetables and dead insects. You can try introducing different foods each time to understand what they prefer to eat.
Conclusion – What Fruits Can Hermit Crabs Eat?
If you need an idea of what hermit crabs can and won’t eat, now you have the answer.
Research is paramount when you need to learn what you can feed pets such as cats or dogs, and hermit crabs are not exempt to this. Make sure you have the willpower to take care of hermit crabs before getting them as pets.