The first thing we execute when obtaining a hermit crab is to give it a name. This might involve recognize out just how to call if a hermit crab is male or female. Sexing hermit crabs isn’t straightforward as gender differences can be comparatively subtle.

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The easiest way to sex hermit crabs is to examine their legs. Male hermit crabs have hairy legs; females have smooth legs. Friend can examine the hermit crab’s genitals. Females have two tiny sexual organs, called the gonopores, atop your third collection of legs. Young males likewise gain size and also mass faster than females.

Owners shouldn’t encounter any breeding worries due come hermit crab gender. It’s safe to pair castle in opposite-sex teams as captive hermit crabs seldom mate. All the same, learning just how to sex hermit crabs is an amazing process.

Table that Contents hide
1 Is my Hermit Crab a boy or Girl?
1.1 physics Appearance
1.2 sex-related Organs
1.3 actions
2 masculine vs. Woman Hermit Crabs
3 carry out Hermit Crabs change Sex?
4 execute Male or woman Hermit Crabs Make much better Pets?
5 can Male and Female Hermit Crabs Live Together?
5.1 related Articles:

Is mine Hermit Crab a young or Girl?

How do you understand if a hermit crab is masculine or female? you will need to obtain a look at at her hermit crab the end of its shell. Never wrench a hermit crab from its home for sex identification.

Some physical attributes are nearly identical in between male and female hermit crabs. For example, it’s difficult to phone call boy and girl hermit crabs personally by nippers size. Some say that females have larger claws, however there is no scientific basis for this claim.

Instead, friend will need to review physical qualities and, come a lesser extent, behavior. As soon as you understand what you room looking for, sexing hermit crabs will become 2nd nature. Every the same, differences can be subtle, for this reason it may take more than simply a cursory glance.

Physical Appearance

In plenty of species, the dimension of an pet can be provided to recognize sex. Usually, the masculine is larger unless the female demands to lug sizeable embryos. This isn’t relevant to adult hermit crabs. When grown, hermit crabs stay around the very same size.

There are some discrepancies, specifically when young. Hermit crabs grow and molt at various rates based on sex. Masculine hermit crabs thrive quickly, routinely molting. So, a young male might tower over a woman of tantamount age.

Females prosper slower as hermit crabs each other while young, generally in the an initial year of life. This is a issue of survival. Females carry their young in an egg sac attached to your legs, which provides them vulnerable. By growing more slowly, a female is likelier to find perfect shells come hide within.

During adjustment season, male hermit crabs can thrive in size. Numerous males molt ahead of mating and also emerge larger. This does not make castle any more appealing to females, though. That just gives them a better chance that overpowering rivals because that a potential mate.

Where physics appearance differs is the legs. Male and female hermit crabs have 10 legs. In females, these will be totally smooth. In males, the legs are covered in coarse hairs.

Additionally, females have 3 appendages ~ above the left of the abdomen. Males absence these. This appendages (pleopods) twin as a sac because that a woman to carry her unborn young.

Sexual Organs

Genitals space the most failsafe way of identifying sex in one animal. It’s the exact same with hermit crabs, however you need to understand what you looking for.

Male hermit crabs have a penis listed below the fifth collection of legs. The Royal culture Open Science insurance claims that this organ have the right to be disproportionately large compared to body mass. It have the right to be as large as 60% the the hermit crab’s body length. This is an evolution tactic to safeguard the shell.

As discussed, males grow quicker than females. This renders appropriately-sized shells a rarely commodity. To avoid losing their shells, male hermit crabs construct a huge penis. This allows the male to mate without vacating his shell, otherwise leave it accessible for a rival.

The sex-related organs of the mrs are called the gonopores. These room two tiny openings located above the third pair that legs. Once we to speak tiny, us do mean tiny. You may need a magnifying glass to identify gonopores.


There space some evident differences in temperament in between male and female hermit crabs. It’s inadvisable to rely on watching their behavior to sex hermit crabs. There room a grasp of variations, though.

In some cases, females are much more confident and also outgoing. Females space likelier to explore new terrain. Lock may likewise find a range of different hiding places. Males are an ext likely to uncover one location and also stick with it together they feel more secure this way.

While this can be attached to basic survival instinct, the may also pertain to mating. According to organic Sciences, hermit crabs with high fecundity each other less. This is early to higher rates that mortality connected with risk-taking behaviors.

More cautious males often tend to enjoy higher success v breeding. Remaining careful helps hermit crabs live longer and also enjoy an ext mating cycles.

These mating rituals may lead to other conduct in between sexes. Sexually mature males guard females that they’re interested in reproduction with. As explained by behavioral Ecology, this deserve to lead to conflict.

If friend see number of hermit crabs surrounding each other, the thing of attention is most likely female. The interested parties will certainly be males hope to curry favor. Together captive hermit crabs rarely breed, this strategy is unlikely to see results.


Male vs. Female Hermit Crabs

There are differences in appearance and conduct between male and also female hermit crabs. This table summarizes the core variations in between the sexes. Here’s just how to sex a hermit crab at a glance:

Male Hermit Crab Identification:Female Hermit Crabs Identification:
Hairy legsSmooth legs
No foot on the abdomenLegs ~ above the left the the abdomen
No abdominal appendagesThree feather appendages left of legs to lug eggs
Has a penis listed below the fifth collection of legsHas gonopores atop the third collection of legs
Increase size and mass in mating seasonSize remains consistent in adjustment season
Grow in size easily from a young ageSlowly and also steadily rise in size with age
Keen come reproduce during mating seasonRarely receptive to mating in captivity
No sex-related pheromonesReleases pheromones if receptive to mating
Attracted to larger femalesIndifferent come the dimension of males
Stick to familiar terrainSeek a range of various habitats
Remain shy and also cautiousCan it is in bolder and also braver

With end 800 different types of hermit crabs, variations will certainly occur. Adhering to this guidance will enable you to sex a hermit crab. Simply do no be alarmed or surprised if you uncover that her initial perspective to be mistaken.

Do Hermit Crabs adjust Sex?

Some owners insurance claim that their hermit crabs adjust sex throughout their lifetime, yet this is unproven through science. It’s more likely that changes to physics appearance brought about mistaken identity.

Despite this, hermaphroditism is usual in invertebrate species. For example, if a clownfish is born a male, that can readjust sex irreversibly if it desires to end up being a school’s leading female. Oysters and shellfish, closer family members to the hermit crab, do the exact same thing.

All the same, hermit crabs are not thought to readjust sex. The newspaper of the Marine biological Association the the UK confirms they can be intersex, though. This hermit crabs live as males ~ molting. The gonopores close, and the hermit crab mates as a male.

Do male or mrs Hermit Crabs Make much better Pets?

There is no reason to think that sex influences the top quality of hermit crab companionship. The truth is, most sellers room ignorant that gender. Even experts sometimes gain it wrong once assigning sex to a hermit crab.

Be wary of anybody that cases that one sex is superior. This will most likely be a sales tactic to affect a purchase. There space no clear and also distinct advantages of one hermit crab sex over another.

Can Male and Female Hermit Crabs Live Together?

The journal of Ethology confirms the hermit crabs deserve to detect sex within your species. This i do not care increasingly noticeable in the wild throughout mating season. Males will neglect each various other while actively seeking the end females.

Hermit crabs can not be spayed or neutered. In most animals, this is a reason for concern. It suggests that the 2 sexes do not do it be housed together. In reality, captive hermit crabs seldom mate. That takes a particular environment and also skilled handler to acquire this come happen.

Females must be willing to mate with an eligible male. Together per the journal of Crustacean Biology, males cannot force mating through disinterested females. Larger hermit crabs have actually no biological benefit when it involves reproduction. Invariably, a bigger hermit crab will win this contest.

With this in mind, there’s no harm to pairing mixed-sex groups. Regardless of their name, hermit crabs space a social species. They choose to live in colonies and also groups. Denying this opportunity on the grounds the sex leader to loneliness.

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Sexing a hermit crab requires close attention. Wait for the hermit crab to emerge from that shell. Once it walk so, assess its legs. If they’re hairy, you have a boy. If not, it’s a girl. Beyond this, you’ll require to identify its genitals.