Shell-less hermit crab, hermit crab without a shell

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Hi, guys.

Just saw something amazing.

From time to time, micro hermits climb over my weir and end up caught in the ball valve. I notice, as it blocks it partially, and the emergency overflow gets used, which is noisy.

This one must have had a particularly hydrodynamic shell as it didn't cause this. It must have been there days, because eventually it abandoned it's shell. I found a hermit walking around the glass of the sump like Spider-Man, without the weight of its shell it was very nimble.

I got it out, put it in a jug of water and got the camera ready. I then put a spare shell in and as expected it immediately ran to it, gave it a quick once over and reversed into it. Amazing to watch. Unfortunately idiot here didn't hit record. :( so I can't share it with you, but it was very neat to see...

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HK_Fuey

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Reply #1

You could chuck him back down the pipe!...ok, maybe that would be  bit cruel.
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Mike

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Reply #2

lol yeah.

You can probably safely de shell a hermit with a G clamp. You'd just tighten until the shell fractures, but as a G clamp is rigid, there'll be no tension to squash the now fractured shell and injure the crab inside.

I'm not going to do that though.

I was gutted when I realised I didn't hit record. I was pointing the camera at it throughout.

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mav469

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Reply #3

I often watch my hermits for ages when they look like they are about to change shell in the hope i get to see the change over. it's like they know i'm watching and wait for me to disappear to do the deed.

Ryan AC

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Reply #4

Sounds like you've already experimented I-Conica lol. They're hard to see change over aren't they, they don't mess about. I recorded one ages ago looking like it was about to change you could see it's body at the edge of the old one about to come out but I think it saw me and thought he'd just tease me and waste some time the pita lol

Mike

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Reply #5

Ahah! I remembered, while I didn't hit record on the video, I did take some snaps of the crab before I added it to the jug to get in it's new shell. So I do have some evidence at least, a couple snaps of it in my hand, shell-less. I'll get them up soon as I can. :)
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CezzaXV

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Reply #6

Haha, awesome! So far only one of my crabs has changed its shell, and then it was when I wasn't looking. I do see their moulted skins from time to time though, and there doesn't seem to be much definition to the back of them and always wish I could get a proper look. Can't wait to see the photos!
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Inverts: 2 cleaner shrimp, 4 hermit crabs, 1 trochus snail, 1 feather duster

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Reply #7

I've seen herms change shells,  they'll have both shells close to one another, then they'll clean the new shell inside, then it'll crawl out of the old shell and onto the new one, do a 180 and back up into the new shell.  Fascinating.
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