Empty shell laying on top of the substrate

Where we discuss the behavior of our hermit crabs, as in fights, pecking orders, shell swaps, etc. Please post all naked-crab posts in the Emergency forum.
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Sillymel
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Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:20 am

Empty shell laying on top of the substrate

Post by Sillymel » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:35 pm

Yesterday I noticed a little shell laying underneath the hamster wheel. Keep in mind that I have not seen this little fellow for several weeks. The open end was facing the substrate so I just assumed he was hiding. Later in the day the shell was in the exact same spot. Today when I got home from work I checked again and the shell was still there so I moved it. It was empty and there wasn’t a naked crab anywhere. Neither the shell or the substrate had an odor to it and it didn’t look like he had come up from molting because the substrate didn’t look disturbed. I can’t figure out how that shell got there. Plus, I know it was the shell that the little guy came in because it was so small and had chips out of it. How would that shell have gotten there without a crab in it? Do crabs drop their shells and just leave them? It wasn’t even close to the extra shells (which has about 30 in it). And where could he have gone? I am so upset and confused about this.


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curlysister
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Re: Empty shell laying on top of the substrate

Post by curlysister » Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:59 pm

Crabs do not just 'drop their shells' and leave them. However, they do move shells around a lot. So he could have moved the new shell before getting in it, then left his old one far from where the 'shell shop' is, and buried himself. That's one possibility, but unfortunately there are others too. If he was underground molting, and did not make it, someone else could have brought his shell up to the surface. He could have been eaten by another crab, but if it happened on the surface, I would imagine there would be some bits left.
How big is your tank? How many crabs? How deep is your sub? Is everyone else accounted for?
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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Sillymel
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Re: Empty shell laying on top of the substrate

Post by Sillymel » Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:09 am

curlysister wrote:Crabs do not just 'drop their shells' and leave them. However, they do move shells around a lot. So he could have moved the new shell before getting in it, then left his old one far from where the 'shell shop' is, and buried himself. That's one possibility, but unfortunately there are others too. If he was underground molting, and did not make it, someone else could have brought his shell up to the surface. He could have been eaten by another crab, but if it happened on the surface, I would imagine there would be some bits left.
How big is your tank? How many crabs? How deep is your sub? Is everyone else accounted for?
The tank is 55 gallon. There are 7 crabs. Substrate is 6-7”. I know for sure that 3 crabs are still under, possibly 4.


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