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Red Sea fishes (Hermit crabs)

Photo credit: To a gentleman who I met once and it is shame to miss his name (thanks friend for the collection you shared with me years ago and forgive my weak memory)

Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal

General information: There are more than 600 species of hermit crabs in the world; out of which few species are available as pets. Hermit crabs are walking decapods crustaceans that are classified as soft crabs which have soft and vulnerable abdomens. This implies their needs for protection from predators as reflected in their seek refuge in abandoned snail shells. Hermit crabs molt as they grow, which means that they shed their exoskeleton and grow a new one. A hermit crab has two pairs of antennae and round eyes on the ends of eyestalks. Hermit crabs have 10 legs (6 walking legs and 4 back legs).

Depending on species, sizes and color vary. Hermit Crab isn’t able to bite because they don’t have any teeth. However, they do have the ability to pinch when they are in danger.

In general, hermit crabs can live as long as 15 years although the majority of them live to around 6-8 years.

Feeding habits: Hermit crabs are omnivorous scavenges that feed on about whatever available within reach including small fish, invertebrates, algae, cyanobacteria, things as fresh fruit and vegetables and uneaten food. They can also obtain food by filtering organic particles from the water.

In captivity (aquariums) the hermit crabs are fed chopped sea foods and meaty bits.

Hermit crabs as pets: The fascinating nature of hermit crabs makes them popular exotic pets in marine aquariums because they are easy to look after and cheap to maintain.

Reproduction:  Females carry eggs for around two months; afterwards, the pelagic larvae persist for a number of weeks. Maturity is typically reached before one year of age.

Symbiotic relationship: A number of animals may be associated with hermit crab, particularly the sea anemone, which lives on the shell of the hermit crab, and provides a camouflage and so protection against predators, while receiving improved food collection in return. In such symbiotic relationship, both parties benefit from the association.

Red Sea Hermit crab (02) Red Sea Hermit crab 01

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