Hermit crabs molting?

Discussion in 'Invertebrates' started by jrock4411, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. jrock4411

    jrock4411

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    Hi! This question is actually coming from jrock's wife, Rachelle.
    I've noticed what looks like a few dead hermit crabs in my tank but I'm wondering if they are molts.
    Today there was a hermit in the front corner of my tank with what seemed to be a dead hermit beside it. Everytime I go in for a closer look, the live hermit immediately hides in his shell. He's not moving around just hanging out.
    So...does a hermit molt look exactly like a hermit out of his shell or am I losing hermits. This is the second one I found this week!
    FYI-these hermits have been in the tank for a couple of months and are quite large. The tank is 50 gallons, the hermits tend to hide out most of the day and I can't always keep track of who's who.
    Tank parameters are fine.
    Thanks,
    Rachelle
     
    jrock4411, Sep 26, 2009
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  2. jrock4411

    bjohanson1234 .........

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    Very possible that it is a molt.

    A molt looks identical to a live hermit.
     
    bjohanson1234, Sep 26, 2009
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    Melosu58

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    I would also say that they are molts. Very hard to tell the difference. Do you know what type they are?
     
    Melosu58, Sep 26, 2009
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  4. jrock4411

    jrock4411

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    Blue legged hermits ranging in size from the head of a pencil to a large marble.
     
    jrock4411, Sep 26, 2009
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  5. jrock4411

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    If it was the real body, there would probably be other cleaners eating it. The molts aren't as appetizing.
     
    Bifferwine, Sep 26, 2009
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    dcantucson

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    I agree probably molts. They are identical with one exception. They lay there limp-less and never move. If you pick them out and smash them between your fingers you'll be able to tell if they are hollow or have meat inside them.
     
    dcantucson, Sep 26, 2009
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  7. jrock4411

    KidJ57 Struggling Reef Addict

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    +1 all above

    If you have had them a few months and this is the first time you have noticed any signs of molting, then it's probably molting, but it wouldn't hurt to take it out of the tank anyway and do a feel/squeeze test as the others have mentioned :mrgreen:
     
    KidJ57, Sep 27, 2009
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  8. jrock4411

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    +1 all the above.
     
    yote, Sep 27, 2009
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  9. jrock4411

    Hiker4twenty

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    I would say it's molting as well. I'm new to the SW hoby and had the same concerns. I only have 1 scarlet reef hermit and it molted twice in the past month. I thought it was dead when I saw the red legs right near the shell, but then I saw the crab inside, but the legs were slightly lighter in color. They'll darken up as the shell hardens again. The cleaners would definitely eat the dead hermit. My pepermint shrimp died and the crabs made short work of it within about an hour.
     
    Hiker4twenty, Sep 30, 2009
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