In the wild, hermit crabs space omnivorous and also opportunistic scavengers. Hermit crabs perform not hunt under live prey. Instead, they sustain themselves on what they can find. In captivity, you deserve to tailor the diet of hermit crabs to ensure every nutritional requirements are met.

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Hermit crabs require a diet well-off in protein and also calcium to encourage a healthy color and strong exoskeleton. Meat and fish, eggs, nuts, and also leafy greens are safe for hermit crabs to eat. Fresh fruit is a popular choice as most hermit crabs have a sweet tooth. Hermit crabs will likewise consume any type of wood, moss, or birds in your habitat.

Knowing what to feed hermit crabs is critical. Carry out not make the wrong of presume that, since hermit crabs room scavengers, they have the right to eat anything. Poor nutrition have the right to be harmful come hermit crabs.

Table the Contents hide
1 are Hermit Crabs Carnivores or Herbivores?
2 exactly how Do Hermit Crabs Eat?
3 How frequently Do Hermit Crabs Eat?
4 What carry out Wild Hermit Crabs Eat?
5 What perform Hermit Crabs Eat in Captivity?
5.1 contents of one Aquarium
5.2 Insects
5.3 Fish Flakes
5.4 Cuttlebone
5.5 fresh Fruit and Vegetables
5.6 Meat and Fish
5.7 Oatmeal
5.8 eggs
5.9 Nuts, Seeds and Grains
5.10 Peanut Butter and Jam
5.11 Hermit Crabs Unsafe Food perform
5.11.1 Hermit Crab Pellets
5.11.2 Moldy or Aged foods items
5.11.3 madness Water
5.11.4 Table Salt
5.11.5 Pesticides and also Herbicides
5.11.6 Onions and also Garlic
5.11.7 Citrus fruit
5.12 related Articles:

Are Hermit Crabs Carnivores or Herbivores?

Hermit crabs are omnivores, which method they will certainly eat a plant-based or meat-centric diet. As herbal scavengers, wild hermit crabs can not be fussy around food. They will certainly eat an apple core or the carcass the a dead conspecific.

The most important consideration is the make-up of their food. Hermit crabs need protein and calcium over all else. This keeps them solid and healthy. Ideal levels of carbohydrates also administer energy.

One hopeful of scavenging is that hermit crabs room never brief of options. Together per the newspaper of speculative Marine Biology and also Ecology, they rarely eat the same thing twice in any kind of 24 hours.

This way that hermit crabs completely embrace their omnivorous nature. No hermit crab will ever gorge specifically on meat or plant-based matter. Dietary diversity is an important to maintaining hermit crabs interested in food.

How execute Hermit Crabs Eat?

Hermit crabs depend upon your pincers, scientifically known as the chelipeds, come eat. Healthy, intact hermit crabs have actually two chelipeds in ~ the former of their body. These are often taken into consideration the foremost pair of foot on the anatomy that hermit crabs.

In most cases, the ideal cheliped is larger and also dominant. Hermit crabs usage this pincer to choose up food and bring it toward their mouth. The smaller sized cheliped might then be provided to guide the food into the mouth.

Hermit crabs do not have actually teeth, but tiny mouthparts. These are provided to grind up any type of food till it small enough come swallow. This way that captive hermit crabs thrive when food is provided in small, bite-sized chunks.

This will also reduce food waste. As hermit crabs are small, they carry out not eat far-ranging amounts. Most will be contents to nibble until no much longer hungry, then relocate on v their day. If a hermit crab is gorging top top food, it is most likely preparing come molt.

If your hermit crabs have burned their chelipeds, they’ll should be hand-fed. For little snacks, this have the right to be excellent from her palm. Not all hermit crabs tolerate handling well, though. In this instances, feed her hermit crabs by offering food on a plastic spoon.


How frequently Do Hermit Crabs Eat?

Hermit crabs have the right to survive for several days there is no food, sometimes as long as two weeks. If a hermit crab knows that it will be without accessibility to food because that a lengthy period, it will certainly eat to excess. The more fat a hermit crab consumes, the longer it can safely fast.

Most hermit crabs will stop this eventuality. Also if a hermit crab is scheduled to molt, and also will be can not to scavenge for weeks, it will certainly eat its burned exoskeleton. This gives all vital calories and nutrients until it resurfaces to scavenge again.

Just since hermit crabs deserve to live without food, that doesn’t median they should. Like any kind of animal, hunger results the behavior of hermit crabs. As per the Bulletin of maritime Science, ravenous crabs grow aggressive and also cantankerous. This is especially likely if food is scarce.

In the wild, hermit crabs will typically eat when a day. They arise once the sun goes down and also look because that nourishment. This must be replicated in captivity. Location food in a habitat just before dusk. This is as soon as your hermit crabs will wake up, most likely feeling hungry.

What do Wild Hermit Crabs Eat?

This relies on even if it is the hermit crabs dwell primarily on floor or in the ocean. Plenty of wild types of hermit crabs space strictly aquatic. They will remain on the floor that the seabed, rarely surfacing. This hermit crabs sustain us on:

AlgaeCoral reefsMollusks and small snailsDead animals

Land hermit crabs, meanwhile, will not get in the water uneven strictly necessary. Many types of fish and also other marine lifeforms are herbal predators of hermit crabs. A land-based crab cannot effectively safeguard itself from together foes.

This way that terrestrial hermit crabs commonly scavenge after ~ sundown, seeking nourishment from:

Moss and leavesWoodGarbageFood left by human visitors come the beachFecal matterCadavers that dead animals

If you bring hermit crabs right into your home, at first attempt to replicate a wild diet. This will aid the hermit crabs adjust. Hermit crabs suffer post-purchase syndrome. This is a period of extreme stress brought about by the transition from wild come captive life.

What execute Hermit Crabs Eat in Captivity?

A much more pertinent question must be, “what execute hermit crabs like to eat?” by spoiling your hermit crabs through safe yet delicious foods, life in captivity will be more agreeable.

Many hermit crabs struggle with adaptation come life together a pet. Evaluation this safe hermit crab foods items list and administer a tasty, differed diet. This will improve their high quality of life no end.

Contents of one Aquarium

As we stated previously, wild hermit crabs will sustain us on something they discover in your environment. This survival instinct is preserved in captivity. Do not it is in surprised or alert if her hermit crabs eat wood, moss, algae, or corals in a tank.

This is the reason why numerous people adopt marine hermit crabs. Castle act as janitors in a fish tank, staying clear of unsightly algae from overflowing. Land hermit crabs will likewise nibble on organic elements of their habitat.

Ensure that any wood you usage in a habitat is sage because that hermit crabs to consume. Frequently spot clean one aquarium, too. If hermit crabs get into the habit of eating your environment, they may consume deadly mold growths.


The habitat of her hermit crab will likely come to be its an extremely own ecosystem. Numerous different insects will certainly make a house within the aquarium. While this will must be purged by clean every pair of months, they serve a objective in the meantime.

Hermit crabs space not natural hunters, but they will eat insects found in your habitat. This can be a an excellent way because that hermit crabs come supplement your diet. Captive crabs must not sustain us on insects alone, however they room an appealing next dish.

Having said that, perform not acquire live insects native a pet keep for her hermit crabs. Provided a choice, your pets will seek other food. Adding unnecessary lifeforms come a habitat can upset the herbal balance of the aquarium.

Fish Flakes

If you save aquatic hermit crabs, there is every chance they will share a tank with fish. In together an instance, you’ll discover that her hermit crabs help themselves to leftover fish flakes. This is fine, noted the food is readily available in moderation.

Check the ingredient of your preferred fish food. Ensure that does not contain any type of untoward chemicals. That should be standard practice, to safeguard your fish and also crabs alike. If the safe, hermit crabs will certainly love these floating treats.

So lot so that high-quality fish flakes can even be provided as a treat for terrestrial hermit crabs. Fish food must not it is in the cornerstone of your pet’s diet. It renders an amazing addition, though.


Cuttlebone is one advisable addition to any kind of hermit crab enclosure. You can grind cuttlebone right into powder and include it to food or leave a free-standing slab of cuttlebone in the substrate. Hermit crabs will job-related their way through the latter at their leisure.

Cuttlebone is the skeleton that the cuttlefish, a cephalopod the resembles a squid. This skeleton is packed v calcium, do it best for hermit crabs. Unlike many foods, you have the right to also carry out cuttlebone constantly. Hermit crabs are unlikely to tire of this ingredient.

This is due to the fact that cuttlebone offers entertainment as lot as nourishment. Hermit crabs favor to communicate with obstacles in your environment. A cuttlebone can be continually pinched and nibbled.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Fruit and also vegetables are necessary to the diet that hermit crabs. Whenever girlfriend head to the supermarket, stock up ~ above fresh, essential produce. The sweeter the better, as far as hermit crabs room concerned. Strawberries, grapes, bananas, and peppers are all for sure favorites.

You have the right to offer irpari greens come hermit crabs, too. These space usually packed with calcium, for this reason they’re a great addition come the diet. Castle lack any distinct scent, which method that hermit crabs might initially refuse these foods.

The visibility of insecticides or herbicides is lethal come hermit crabs. Essential produce considerably reduces this risk.

Meat and Fish

As discussed, hermit crabs space omnivorous. This method they room not averse to eating meat. Together per marine Ecology progress Series, hermit crabs can even resort to cannibalism. It is usual for these animals to consume dead comrades, both in the wild and in captivity.

This does not mean that hermit crabs are best served life meat or fish. Constantly pick up the highest-quality assets that you can. Inspect it has not been treated with any potentially harmful preservatives. Chef the meat thoroughly, enabling it to cool before serving.

Hermit crabs have little bodies and appetites, so they will not need an entire steak. Be responsibility of this, as meat have the right to spoil and create bacteria in a habitat. Cut meat right into small, bite-sized chunks and serve the sparingly.


Next time you room making yourself a healthy and balanced breakfast of oatmeal, consider setting some next for her hermit crabs. They often love oatmeal, especially if sweetened v honey.

Go easy on the milk if supplying oatmeal to hermit crabs, though. Lactose is often disagreeable to this animals. If you use oat-based milk for moisture, so much the better.

In enhancement to oatmeal, girlfriend could additionally offer oatcakes for your hermit crabs come nibble on. These commodities can be broken apart and tackled at will. They additionally do no rot, ensuring the you will certainly not must worry about bacteria developing within a habitat.


Offering protein in abundance, eggs space a great food because that hermit crabs. Scrambled eggs, in particular, will certainly be consumed by your pets. Friend could additionally boil and slice eggs for hermit crabs.

Be mindful of how you chef eggs. Perform not include anything that would certainly appeal to the human being palate, such together salt or pepper. The egg themselves are much more than sufficient to meet your hermit crabs.

Hermit crabs will also benefit from spend eggshells. Grind these shells up into little pieces and mix them v scrambled eggs. This will carry out a further source of calcium.

Nuts, Seeds and also Grains

Hermit crabs love seeds and nuts. Happily, these foods items are likewise beneficial due to their high protein content. Hermit crabs also do not need to worry about the fat in nuts. This can benefit your pets, specifically ahead the a molt.

Crush nuts into a well powder, or chop them tiny and offer in a bowl. Remember the hermit crabs carry out not have actually teeth, and nuts room tough. Any type of serving too big is a throttle hazard. Friend could additionally popcorn to your hermit crabs. They will certainly love you because that it.

The complying with are believed to be among the favourite nuts and also seeds took pleasure in by hermit crabs:

CoconutsPeanutsBrazil nutsPecansWalnutsPumpkin seedsSunflower seeds

Avoid seed from fruits as they frequently contain arsenic. While that is recognized if this will injury hermit crabs, the potential because that choking ensures that such foods remain ideal avoided.

Peanut Butter and also Jam

Peanut butter is a an excellent treat for hermit crabs, as is a fruity jam. Over there is a caveat, though. When hermit crabs love these foods, they need to be hand-fed indigenous the pointer of a finger.

If you leave a jug or spoonful of loose peanut butter in one enclosure, her hermit crabs will certainly amass at a rate of knots. Hermit crabs space messy eaters.

Hermit crabs might get this ingredient clogged in your gills, making breathing difficult. This can lead come suffocation. Any kind of foodstuff the is no solid need to never be left to be consumed unsupervised.

There is nothing wrong v treating your hermit crabs come a tespoon of peanut butter or jam. Simply take treatment to for sure it end up in that mouth, and also nowhere else.

Hermit Crabs Unsafe Food List

You may be forgiven for thinking that hermit crabs have actually iron constitutions, capable of eat anything. ~ all, if they survive in the wild by scavenging, they have to occasionally uncover undesirable nourishment. When this is true, it additionally negatively results hermit crabs.

As per The organic Bulletin, hermit crabs avoid foods items that previously made them unwell. The journal describes this as, “serious physiological upset,” typically associated with emotionally responses.

This argues that hermit crabs remember the uncomfortable side-effects of eat food that made them unwell. Hermit crabs have actually surprisingly great memories, and also as per animal Behavior, certainly recall painful experiences.

Feeding unreasonable food may damages the trust your hermit crabs have actually in you. To this end, you require to recognize which foodstuffs are unsafe and unsuitable because that hermit crabs. This perform is not as exhaustive as the authorized food list above but is arguably also more critical to learn.

Hermit Crab Pellets

If you’re brand-new to caring because that hermit crabs, pellets seem come be straightforward dietary option. After ~ all, these commercial foods are designed through hermit crabs in mind. The efficiency of pellets is a resource of debate among experienced crabbers, though.

In theory, hermit crab pellets room palatable, accordingly sized resources of whatever a hermit crab needs. Think of this foodstuff together the equivalent of little animal muesli. In reality, plenty of hermit crab enthusiasts think about pellets to it is in toxic.

It is asserted that pellets contain harmful preservatives, in addition to hefty metals such together copper. This ingredients deserve to be fatal come hermit crabs. A common case is the pellets are constructed from general food waste the is tied together.

If you firmly insist on feeding hermit crab pellets, dedicate time come research. Learn exactly what is in the pellets and how they space made. Even then, over there is no guarantee the your pets will eat the pellets. Countless hermit crabs discover them dull and devoid that flavor.

See more: How Many Cups In .5 Liters To Cups, Convert 5 Liters To Cups

Overall, pellets space a false economy. Friend are better served by providing fresh food to her hermit crabs. As you’ll check out from the perform above, you will have actually no shortage of options.