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How Can I Tell When My Hermit Crab Is Getting Ready to Molt?

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Question: How Can I Tell When My Hermit Crab Is Getting Ready to Molt?
Answer:
Your hermit crab will likely start to act a bit different and look a bit different just before molting. Always be prepared for molting as some hermit crabs may surprise you by molting when you least expect it. Keep a close eye out for the following signs and be prepared to support your molting hermit crab through this stressful time. Once you see these signs, you should consider isolating the hermit crab from the other crabs.

Signs your Hermit Crab is Getting Ready to Molt

  • Digging more than usual (careful: this can also be a sign of improper temperature or humidity, so check your conditions).
  • Eating and drinking more than usual for a bit before the molt. In the last few days before starting a molt your crab may stop eating.
  • Decreased levels of activity, though may seem restless (repeatedly digging, changing shells)
  • Tangled looking antennae and less antennae activity.
  • Ashy color to body. Tips of legs and claws may turn whitish.
  • Cloudy, whitish eyes.
  • Spending more time around water.
  • Molt Sac - just under the abdomen, a sac that stores water to help break the exoskeleton develops.
  • Crabs that are missing limbs start to regenerate their limbs by starting to grow a "gel limb" (a gelatinous bud that eventually grows into a regenerated limb) just before a molt.
  • Legs and claws may seem droopy or weak.
  • Eye stalks may face away from each other in a "V" shape rather than being parallel.

Go To Hermit Crab Molting FAQ for more on molting hermit crabs

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