Species Information

There are currently nine globally recognized species of land hermit crabs:

Coenobita clypeatus "Purple Pinchers" or "PPs" - This section is finished!
Coenobita compressus "Ecuadorians", "Es", or "Eccies" - This section is finished!
Coenobita perlatus "Strawberries" or "Straws" - This section is finished!
Coenobita violascens "Violas" - This section is finished!
Coenobita rugosus "Ruggies" or "Rugs"
Coenobita brevimanus "Indos" - This section is finished!
Coenobita cavipes "Cavipes"
Coenobita variabilis "Aussies" or "Crazy Crabs"
Coenobita purpureus "Blueberries"

*Under Construction*
More information will be coming soon.  If you have good pictures of any of the above species, please submit them to wearecrabby@live.com.  In addition to pictures, we are also looking to testimonials to each species:  a small blurb that can be posted on the page about how it is to keep that species!


Coenobita clypeatus, or the Purple Pincher or PP, is a species of land hermit crab.  PPs are known for their purple pinchers and reddish hue found on many of their legs.  They are also the most commonly found species of land hermit crab in the United States and Canada.

Purple Pinchers are found everywhere in the United States, including mall kiosks, beach boardwalks, and pet stores.  They are handed out as "throwaway" pets and most people believe they live only for a month.  This is not true; they are truly an exotic breed of animal and require exotic conditions.

Despite the myth of PPs being disposable animals, they are actually a great addition to the crabitat and normally a crabber's first type of land hermit crab.  Their energy levels vary:  some crabs are more active, while others enjoy sleeping.  PPs enjoy changing shells and are most commonly found in a shell with a round opening.

PPs are found in the Florida Keys, some Central American nations along the Atlantic Coast, and throughout the islands of the West Indies.  PPs require exotic temperatures and a high humidity level in order to survive.  PPs can fit on the head of a dime, or they can grow to the size of a melon.  The PP is known to be the hardiest species of land hermit crab.

Overall, PPs are a great beginner crab due to their hardiness, and can be a great addition the crabitat.  They range in color from tan to pink, brown to red, and purple or blue.  They are the most common species of land hermit crab found in the United States and Canada.  Even though pet stores will sell this crab to an unknowing buyer in a small kritter cage with hardly no supplies, keeping these pets healthy requires much, much more.

Coenobita compressus, or the Ecuadorian, Eccie, or E, is a species of land hermit crab.  Ecuadorians are best known for their soaring energy levels and crabby antics.  Ecuadorians are one of the greatest members to have in a crabitat because they are relatively easy to care for and bring activity to the crabitat.

Ecuadorian hermit crabs are relatively small, and compared to their Coenobita clypeatus and Coenobita brevimanus cousins, they are quite small.  Ecuadorians do come in larger sizes, but most will not get larger than a tennis ball, and the crabs sold in pet stores are commonly golf ball sized or smaller.

Despite their small size, Ecuadorian hermit crabs are active and love to climb over everything!  They will dig numerous pits and holes, eat a lot, and climb frequently.  Shell changing is not common for this crab, and most Ecuadorians will only change shells when absolutely necessary.  Ecuadorian crabs are found all the way from Baja California to a little past Ecuador, all along the border of the Pacific.  Most Ecuadorians are beach mongers, living amongst the place where the forest meets beach.  Having to run away from possible aerial predators may have been what allowed these crabs to run so fast.

Overall, Ecuadorians are known for their smaller size and energy levels.  They come in a range of colors:  gray with a bluish-green tint when they are younger, to darker, rusty brown or red when they get older.  Ecuadorian crabs are found along the Pacific shores of the Central and South American continents.  Ecuadorians are active, but not aggressive and a perfect addition to the crabitat.  While these crabs are not considered exotics, proper and experienced care still must be maintained to ensure the survival of Ecuadorians while in captivity.

Coenobita perlatus, or the Strawberry, is a species of land hermit crab.  The Strawberry is known for its bright, red color, which resembles a strawberry.  These crabs are also known to be one of the hardest to care for while in captivity.  Their colors range from bright red, to a duller orange, and sometimes but rarely, white.

Strawberry crabs come in a variety of sizes.  They can be purchased as smaller crabs, or larger crabs.  Their size is similar to the size of purple pinchers, but of course, their color is much more remarkable.

Strawberry crabs are found on many Pacific Islands, including Fiji, Australia, and Indonesia.  They are dispersed widely throughout the area due to the fact that hermit crabs lay their eggs in the ocean.  Strawberry hermit crabs must have saltwater and high humidity and temperatures in order to survive (this is the same with all species of land hermit crabs).  Strawberry crabs normally have high energy levels and will climb and explore the crabitat a lot.  These crabs are usually quite docile, too.

Overall, Strawberries are a beautiful species of land hermit crab and are known for their energy level and color.  They are a great addition to the crabitat, but only experienced crabbers should handle these crabs.  They are known for being easily perishable, and constant conditions must be kept in the crabitat, while feeding a diet rich in color-enhancing foods in order to keep the beautiful color of the Strawberry.

Coenobita violascens, or the Viola, is a species of land hermit crab. Violas are character-
istically known for their beautiful colors. When young, the Viola can be brown, orange, and red, but as they get older, they begin to develop a deep purple hue from which they derive their name.

Viola hermit crabs can grow to be quite large and come in a variety of sizes. The small crabs are normally reddish in color, but the older crabs are normally deep purple or even blue. Violas are known to be one of the shiest species of land hermit crabs, often hiding during the day and coming out only at night.

Violas are typically found in Indonesia and the surrounding islands, just like Coenobita brevimanus. Violas are an exotic breed of land hermit crab and are not for the beginner. These beautiful gems are mild-natured and can be housed with all other species. They are easily identified by their pair of bright red antennae.

Overall, Violas are a great species for the experienced crabber and are a great living beauty to add to the crabitat. Although they do not come out much and prefer to stay hidden, if you are a night owl, you will see a lot of these crabs! Not every Viola is shy, and you may have some luck with an active one!

Coenobita brevimanus, or the Indo, is a species of land hermit crab.  Indos are known for their characteristic big pincher, which normally looks a bit awkward compared to the rest of the crab.  They sport a beautiful lavander color, but some varieties include brown and pink.

Indo crabs can be quite large - they're one of the biggest species of land hermit crabs.  Some can grow to the size of coconuts or larger.  Despite their size, Indos can be one of the most shy species of land hermit crabs, but some are active and out a lot.

Indos are typically found in Indonesia and the surrounding islands, where they share homes with other exotic species.  They are calm in nature and typically not aggressive.  Most crabbers have remarked at the terrestriality of these crabs because they do not enjoy being in water and it is rare to see them swim.

Overall, Indo hermit crabs are a beautiful species and sport an enormous claw that is unique to their species, setting them apart from the other land hermit crabs.  They are calm in nature and do not swim willingly.  Indo hermit crabs are for experienced crabbers only because they are an exotic breed and require the best care available.  This species is not good for the new crabber.