In March 2017 I purchased 3 hermit crabs from a local pet store. I also got a 5 gallon tank for their “crabitat.” Here is a picture of the hermit crabs when I got them home. I  named them (left to right) Hermie, Corrie, and Shelly. Shelly is also called “Shy Shelly” because she hides a lot inside her shell.

3 crabs Mar2017 - 5in

Shy Shelly

Soon after I got Shelly, she moved from her cramped not-so-pretty shell into a lovely green shell. I think that is because she knew she was molting soon and would need a bigger shell.

Here is Shelly in her old shell beside the green one that she moved into.

HC No3 032417-1

Here is a picture of her in her new shell. See how much more room she has?

Shy Shelly Grn Shell 033117

And here is Shelly walking around in her new shell.

Shelly 052217-1

Shelly did indeed molt but it was not until May 2017. She buried herself in the sand, where I left her alone for about a week. Then because I wanted to check that she was okay, I carefully uncovered her and found her tucked up inside her shell with her expended old exoskeleton beside her. I carefully recovered her to give her a chance for her new exoskeleton to harden.  She would eat some of her old exoskeleton for nutrients during this molting process. Here is a picture of her buried in the sand.

Shelly molted 051117

Now Shelly is good for a long while before she needs to look for a bigger shell. I do keep empty shells in the crab tank available for all the crabs to give them a choice when they want to look for a new home.

Here are the shells that I keep on hand for the different size hermit crabs. I pick out the ones that are a little bigger than the crabs to put in the tank. I keep them in a clear flower vase when I am not using them.

Here are a few of my favorite hermit crab pictures.

To read more about Hermie, Corrie, and Shelly, see the pet forum All Pets Big and Small at