Purple Land Hermit Crab (Coenobita brevimanus) Exotic Terrestrial Invertebrate
Purple Land Hermit Crab (Coenobita brevimanus) Exotic Terrestrial Invertebrate

Purple Land Hermit Crab (Coenobita brevimanus) Exotic Terrestrial Invertebrate

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The Purple Land Hermit Crab (Coenobita brevimanus) stands as a highly sought-after gem among terrarium enthusiasts, captivating with its mesmerizing behavior and hassle-free care.


Contrary to its name, this captivating creature thrives in communal harmony, often forming impressive colonies numbering up to a hundred crabs strong. Observing their interactions is a true delight, making them an ideal choice for those seeking both fascination and simplicity in their terrarium setups.


With a tropical origin, these creatures demand consistent humidity levels of 75% or higher for optimal well-being. A steady habitat temperature of at least 75°F (24°C) is equally crucial. Hermit crabs possess specialized gills that enable both aquatic and aerial breathing, but inadequate humidity can lead to suffocation as their gills dry out. Maintaining moisture via a substratum of coconut husk and/or sand offers the ideal humidity source. A deep bedding not only facilitates burrowing but also supports their molting activities. Employing a reliable humidity gauge is strongly advised.

Given their coastal dwellings, hermit crabs necessitate both de-chlorinated freshwater and saltwater sources for bathing and drinking. This can be realized with non-metal bowls placed within the terrarium. These bowls should be of a suitable depth to allow submersion while enabling easy exit. Driftwood pieces or rocks added to the bowls facilitate access. As adept climbers, secure driftwood pieces should be positioned strategically to prevent escapes.

Effective terrarium heating can be accomplished with heat bulbs, including those designed for reptiles that offer heat and light. Nocturnal red or black lights are also suitable for nighttime warmth. While under-tank heaters are an option, they might pose issues due to hermit crabs' burrowing behavior. To avoid burns, cautious placement is crucial. Equipping the terrarium with temperature gauges on both warmer and cooler sides is recommended, maintaining around a 10°F (5.5°C) difference between the two.

Hermit crabs' omnivorous nature simplifies feeding; however, diversity is key. A high-quality invertebrate food enriched with spirulina forms a solid foundation, complemented by pesticide-free vegetables, fruits, grains, and calcium sources like powdered cuttlebone.

Hermit crabs are generally tolerant of handling, though their pinching ability remains a consideration. When handling, ensure your hand lies flat to prevent loose skin from being pinched. If pinched, calmly pour lukewarm water on the crab's claw to encourage release. Typically peaceful, hermit crabs resort to pinching primarily when startled.

For a deeper understanding of land hermit crabs, a swift Internet search yields abundant information from credible sources dedicated to these captivating creatures.




What We Like About This Crab:

  • Unique and fascinating to watch
  • Easy to care for
  • Peaceful disposition



  • Temperature:  75° - 90° F (24° - 32° C)
  • Humidity:  70 - 85%.  This is absolutely essential for their long-term health.
  • Minimum terrarium size:  10 gallons to start, but will eventually need a much larger enclosure



  • Diet:  Omnivorous.  High quality commercial invertebrate foods, dried krill/shrimp, pesticide-free vegetables (especially carrots) and fruits, nuts, grains supplemented with calcium such as ground cuttlebone, or Kats Aquatic Calcium products.  A varied diet is key.
  • Warning! Avoid any food product, medication, or plant fertilizer that contains Copper of any form. Copper is toxic to invertebrates. Many commercial fish foods, medications, and plant fertilizers contain copper or more commonly copper sulfate. Always look at the ingredient list for any product going into the enclosure to ensure they are copper free.
  • Social behavior:  Should be kept in groups of 3 or more.  Despite its name, this crab is very communal
  • Origin:  Indonesia, South East Asia
  • Other requirements:  Plenty of extra shells of appropriate size must be provided.  Artificial and painted shells must be free of toxic paints and other chemicals.  Bedding (sand and/or coconut husk) must be kept moist and deep enough for burrowing and molting.  Hermit crabs require non-metal bowls of de-chlorinated fresh water and marine salt water (no table salt) in which they can submerge but not drown.   Branches for climbing and cave-like hiding areas are also necessary. Cholla Wood and Coconut Hides work  best in Purple land hermit crab set-ups. Commercial cleaning products should never be used when cleaning hermit crab habitats.

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