Jet black carapace, blood orange legs and purple claws with a pair of yellow spots behind the eyes, best describes the Halloween Crab. They are essentially land crabs in technicolor dreamcoats, is how some would describe them. They measure about two inches across the carapace and four inches from claw to claw, but have an cute way of making themselves seem much bigger when you approach them, putting up their claws as if to say “hey, it wasn’t me!” while they take off in the other direction.
Halloween Crabs were initially described and named in the mid eighteen hundreds, but despite this, you won’t find much information about them online. However, what we do know is shared here with you: they are found in neotropical costal rain forests, along the western cost of Central America from Mexico to Ecuador. Active during the night, they live on land and love to burrow, which explains why you will see so many of them, just before daybreak.
Halloween Crabs always live near water to migrate for reproduction purposes and are well-adjusted, terrestrial crabs. During the dry season – typically from November to April, they’ll burrow and go underground, and then re-emerge on the first rainfall, signaling the start of the green season. For these little critters, spring break is usually a wet one.
Halloween Crabs are herbivores, unlike the Ocean Crab. Some have even suggested that these crabs leaf-eating habits and borrowing may be a good thing for the soil around them, that they may facilitate over the months or years, the movement of various nutrients to deeper soils where roots may eventually forge.
Colorful animals are typically known for being venomous and dangers. However, the Halloween Crab is a rather docile and not dangerous at all. Considering the fact that many species who occupy the same regions are – the venomous snake, creepy arachnids, stinging scorpions, etc.
Each Halloween Crab has its own attitude and behavior which can prove to be a bit of challenge from time-to-time. Try handling your pet every day so that it will become accustom to human interaction. Doing so can result in changing a crabby disposition to a more friendly, docile one. Use caution though because Halloween Crabs have those pinchers and are quite adept at using them. You will find that Halloween Crabs crave attention, while other’s are shy and pinch to stay tucked away . The best advice we have is to learn your crabs behavior and deal with each of them accordingly.
Halloween Crabs don’t require much space when they are young, as they grow, their environment must be able to sustain them. The most common size for an enclosure is a ten to fifteen gallon aquarium with at least a couple of dishes and some items to hide in. The Halloween Crab enjoys to climb, so be sure they have something to climb on such as rocks, tree branches or better yet, a piece of cork board.
Just as we outgrow our clothing, crabs outgrow their shells. Prior to molting, a crab reabsorbs some of the calcium carbonate from the old exoskeleton, then secretes enzymes to separate the old shell from the underlying skin (or epidermis). Then, the epidermis secretes a new, soft, paper-like shell beneath the old one. This process can take several weeks.
Feeding your Halloween Crab is a relatively easy process. If possible, try to replicate what your Halloween Crab would otherwise scavenge for and eat in the wild. Here are some perfect examples for you.
3. Shrimps with the shell on
4. Sardines or plain uncooked, unspiced fresh fish
5. Scrambled eggs
6. Fresh frozen and thawed crickets
7. Freeze-dried mealworms
8. An occasional sprinkling of commercial crab food
9. Romaine lettuce and mixed salad greens
10. Small pieces of fresh mango, pineapple or papaya
11. Peanut butter
13. Raw coconut (flesh and juices)
While some Halloween Crabs don’t mind being handled, you should try to keep this to a minimum. It might stress them out, and their pincers are rather strong enough to penetrate human fingers, although unlikely. If you must handle your pet, be as gentle as possible.
Consider wearing a pair of leather gloves to safely handle them and pick them up by the body from behind. Whatever you do, do not pick them up by the legs or pincers as this could result in the loss of a limb.
Every now and then, allow them some additional freedom and mobility by allowing them to run around in a bathtub for additional space and exercise. Some place food items under fresh foliage to keep their instincts intact.
Halloween moon crabs, like other land crabs, are found in groups — so you shouldn’t keep them single. And it’s especially interesting to observe their behaviors and interactions at night.
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The Halloween Crab makes for a pretty good housemate, as long as they have some sand grain and some dry areas. Ideally a small terrarium or riparium which is closer to the habitat they come from is perfect, but you would still have to incorporate some water. They do require a fairly consistent temperature of seventy-five to eighty-five degrees Fahrenheit and water heaters or subterranean heaters are a good way to manage this. They don’t need a lot of space, but the space has to be neat and clean.
Feeding the Halloween Crab is fairly easy, they will eat pellets, just about any vegetables you can supply and raw fish, from time-to-time. Small amounts of vegetable peelings are excellent. Remove uneaten food and run a water filter in whatever water source you choose. They will also require consistent source of calcium, so be sure to take this into account when feeding them. A popular method is to leave a cuttlefish bone for your pet to work on.
Interested in keeping Halloween Crabs as pet? Great! We’ve compiled an excellent list of interesting facts about the beautiful and colorful Halloween Crab for your reading pleasure.
1. Similar to the Janitor fish, the Hermit Crab is well known for its ability to routinely clean algae, keeping his or environment perfectly spic-and-span.
2. The Halloween Crab is considered one the most brightly colored crabs in normal, everyday, aquarium use.
3. Halloween Crabs are known by several other names, including, Orange Legged Hermit Crab and Stripped Hermit Crab.
4. This marine pet can eat any left-over food that settles along the bottom, sifts through the sand which aerates the aquarium substrate.
5. Halloween Crabs are notorious for devouring food, quickly.
6. Halloween Crabs are known for attacking species with larger shells.
7. Life expectancy rate is quite good for an aquatic pet and can live a life of up to ten years.
8. The Hermit Crab apparently originated from Hawaii but can be found in many parts of the world including the Red Sea.
9. This hermit crab is characterized by vividly colored walking legs, a red body, and alternating horizontal bright orange and white bands giving it the likeness of the festive colors of Halloween.
10. This marine pet can eat any left-over food that settles along the bottom, sifts through the sand which aerates the aquarium substrate.
11. The Halloween Crab can grow up to five centimeters in length.
12. The Halloween Hermit Crab is omnivorous and a scavenger, eating nearly anything that appears in its environment, including small animals.
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