The very first thing we do when gaining a hermit crab is to provide it a name. This might involve detect out just how to tell if a hermit crab is masculine or female. Sexing hermit crabs isn’t straightforward as gender distinctions can it is in comparatively subtle.

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

Owners do not do it encounter any kind of breeding worries due to hermit crab gender. It’s safe to pair them in opposite-sex groups as captive hermit crabs seldom mate. All the same, learning exactly how to sex hermit crabs is an amazing process.

Table that Contents hide
1 Is mine Hermit Crab a boy or Girl?
1.1 physics Appearance
1.2 sexual Organs
1.3 habits
2 masculine vs. Female Hermit Crabs
3 do Hermit Crabs adjust Sex?
4 perform Male or woman Hermit Crabs Make much better Pets?
5 deserve to Male and Female Hermit Crabs Live Together?
5.1 related Articles:

Is my Hermit Crab a boy or Girl?

How carry out you understand if a hermit crab is masculine or female? girlfriend will need to acquire a look at her hermit crab the end of its shell. Never ever wrench a hermit crab native its residence for sex identification.

Some physical characteristics are virtually identical between male and also female hermit crabs. Because that example, it’s impossible to call boy and girl hermit crabs apart by nippers size. Some say the females have larger claws, yet there is no scientific basis because that this claim.

Instead, you will must review physical attributes and, to a lesser extent, behavior. When you understand what you are looking for, sexing hermit crabs will certainly become 2nd nature. Every the same, distinctions can it is in subtle, therefore it may take more than just a cursory glance.

Physical Appearance

In many species, the dimension of an pet can be offered to recognize sex. Usually, the masculine is larger unless the female demands to bring sizeable embryos. This isn’t appropriate to adult hermit crabs. Once grown, hermit crabs stay around the same size.

There are some discrepancies, specifically when young. Hermit crabs grow and molt at different rates based on sex. Male hermit crabs flourish quickly, on regular basis molting. So, a young male may tower end a woman of indistinguishable age.

Females grow slower together hermit crabs breed while young, commonly in the an initial year that life. This is a matter of survival. Females carry their young in one egg sac enclosed to their legs, which renders them vulnerable. By growing much more slowly, a mrs is likelier to find an ideal shells to hide within.

During adjustment season, masculine hermit crabs can grow in size. Plenty of males molt front of mating and emerge larger. This does not make castle any more appealing come females, though. It just provides them a better chance the overpowering rivals for a potential mate.

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

Additionally, females have 3 appendages top top the left that the abdomen. Males absence these. These appendages (pleopods) twin as a sac for a mrs to bring her unborn young.

Sexual Organs

Genitals are the many failsafe method of identify sex in one animal. The the exact same with hermit crabs, yet you require to understand what she looking for.

Male hermit crabs have actually a penis below the fifth set of legs. The Royal society Open Science insurance claims that this organ have the right to be disproportionately big compared to body mass. It can be as large as 60% of the hermit crab’s human body length. This is an evolutionary tactic to protect the shell.

As discussed, males grow much faster than females. This provides appropriately-sized shells a rarely commodity. Come avoid losing their shells, male hermit crabs construct a huge penis. This permits the masculine to mate without vacating his shell, otherwise leave it available for a rival.

The sex-related organs the the mrs are dubbed the gonopores. These are two tiny openings located above the third pair of legs. When we speak tiny, we do typical tiny. You may need a magnifying glass to identify gonopores.


There are some evident differences in temperament in between male and female hermit crabs. The inadvisable to count on watching their actions to sex hermit crabs. There are a handful of variations, though.

In part cases, females are an ext confident and outgoing. Females space likelier come explore brand-new terrain. Castle may also find a range of different hiding places. Males are an ext likely to uncover one location and stick v it as they feel safer this way.

While this can be linked to simple survival instinct, it may likewise pertain to mating. According to biological Sciences, hermit crabs with high fecundity breed less. This is early out to higher rates that mortality connected with risk-taking behaviors.

More cautious males often tend to enjoy better success through breeding. Remaining cautious helps hermit crabs live longer and enjoy an ext mating cycles.

These mating rituals may bring about other conduct in between sexes. Sexually tires males security females that they’re interested in reproduction with. As defined by behavior Ecology, this can lead come conflict.

If friend see number of hermit crabs bordering each other, the object of fist is likely female. The interested parties will certainly be males hoping to curry favor. Together captive hermit crabs seldom breed, this technique is unlikely to view results.


Male vs. Mrs Hermit Crabs

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

Male Hermit Crab Identification:Female Hermit Crabs Identification:
Hairy legsSmooth legs
No foot on the abdomenLegs on the left that the abdomen
No ab appendagesThree feather appendages left of foot to bring eggs
Has a penis listed below the fifth set of legsHas gonopores atop the third set of legs
Increase size and mass in mating seasonSize remains continual in mating season
Grow in size easily from a young ageSlowly and steadily increase in size with age
Keen to reproduce during mating seasonRarely receptive to adjustment in captivity
No sexual pheromonesReleases pheromones if receptive to mating
Attracted to bigger femalesIndifferent to the size of males
Stick to familiar terrainSeek a selection of various habitats
Remain shy and also cautiousCan it is in bolder and also braver

With over 800 different varieties of hermit crabs, variations will certainly occur. Following this accuse will enable you come sex a hermit crab. Just do no be alarmed or surprised if you uncover that your initial perspective was mistaken.

Do Hermit Crabs adjust Sex?

Some owners insurance claim that your hermit crabs readjust sex throughout their lifetime, but this is unproven by science. It’s more likely that alters to physical appearance resulted in mistaken identity.

Despite this, hermaphroditism is common in invertebrate species. For example, if a clownfish is born a male, that can readjust sex irreversibly if it desires to become a school’s dominant female. Oysters and also shellfish, closer loved ones to the hermit crab, perform the very same thing.

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

Do male or female Hermit Crabs Make far better Pets?

There is no reason to believe that sex influences the high quality of hermit crab companionship. The reality is, most sellers space ignorant of gender. Also experts sometimes gain it wrong when assigning sex come a hermit crab.

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

Can Male and Female Hermit Crabs Live Together?

The newspaper of Ethology confirms the hermit crabs have the right to detect sex within their species. This i do not care increasingly obvious in the wild during mating season. Males will overlook each other while proactively seeking out females.

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

Females have to be ready to mate through an eligible male. As per the journal of Crustacean Biology, males cannot pressure mating with disinterested females. Bigger hermit crabs have no biological advantage when it pertains to reproduction. Invariably, a larger hermit crab will win this contest.

With this in mind, there’s no harm to pairing mixed-sex groups. In spite of their name, hermit crabs room a social species. They prefer to live in colonies and also groups. Denying this opportunity on the grounds that sex leads to loneliness.

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Sexing a hermit crab needs close attention. Wait because that the hermit crab to emerge from that shell. Once it walk so, assess its legs. If castle hairy, you have a boy. If not, that a girl. Beyond this, you’ll require to determine its genitals.