Coeonbota perlatus (C.perlatus) suitable in Crabitat?

keep over 10 years at 2019 Oct

First time I meet C.perlatus 

The first time I meet C.perlatus was in 2002. At that time, I could not find detail information for this species, so I only used fresh water, I did not use sea water. He dead after one year and several months in crabitat. He molted 2 times.

Size: Shield length 13mm

Set up: Plastic case, no sea water dish, substrates used Coral Bone mixed with 5-6mm sand (At that time I thought that big size land hermit crab need bigger size of substrates), no lighting, have shelter and Driftwood

Food: Apple, bread, rice etc, very simple

Bought at August 2002, original color was bright orange.

After first molt, body color did not change too much. I think he was already absorbed nutrition that he need in the wild, so body color had not been affected.

After second molt, his body lost a lot of orange color. Skin is not shinny. He out of shell and dead.

After the dead of C.perlatus, I started to find more information about this species. I found below article in 2006. This article mentioned that C.perlatus require sea water or water of high salinity as they are found living near coastal shorelines. So we must give them sea water in Crabitat.

Case of losing color of C.perlatus (Or some case related to C.perlatus):


  • 2006_10_11 台灣慘事兩隻橙紅先後兩天內死去 (Taiwan)


  • 2007_3_31 外國救救橙紅陸寄居蟹 (HCA forum)
  • 2007_7_10 台灣蟹友認為橙紅很不好養 (Taiwan)
  • 2007_7_31 橙紅的管道與成本 (Taiwan)
  • 2007_9_12 外國Straws! Expert advice & opinions wanted (HCA forum)
  • 2007_9_28 外國Another Proof that Strawberries Can Change Body Color (HCA forum)


  • 2008_1_9 外國詢問外國的飼養者橙紅體色變淡 (HCA forum)
  • 2008_2_29 外國個案-starmaiden (HCA forum)
  • 2008_5_3 台灣總結一年來的橙紅飼養觀察報告—橙紅的三悲哀 (Taiwan)
  • 2008_6_4 香港網絡個案 (Hong Kong)
  • 2008_6_11 香港直接詢問香港業者藝裝蟹的意見 (Hong Kong)
  • 2008_6_19 台灣連蟹皇也 (Taiwan)
  • 2008_8_8 香港個案-qqsharon (Hong Kong)
  • 2008_8_8 香港網絡個案2 (Hong Kong)
  • 2008_8_24 香港再次證明橙紅體色變淡 (Hong Kong)  
  • 2008_9_12 香港網絡個案3 (Hong Kong)
  • 2008_11_3 香港網絡個案4 (Hong Kong)


  • 2009_1_13 香港藝裝蟹的草草回覆台灣蟹友 (Hong Kong)
  • 2009_1_15 香港藝裝蟹的草草回覆 (Hong Kong)
  • 2009_6_2 香港橙紅的確超級不好養 (Hong Kong)
  • 2009_6_3 香港希望大家提供橙紅陸寄居蟹脫皮後體色會變淡的個人經驗 (Hong Kong)
  • 2009_8_15 國內天使!橙红陆寄居蟹 (China)
  • 2009_9_3 香港橙紅陸…..體色變淡 (Hong Kong)
  • 2009_9_30 台灣蟹皇的回應 (Taiwan)
  • 2009_10_20 香港橙紅的報告(未經證實,不定期發表) (Hong Kong)
  • 2009_10_30 香港橙紅陸…..體色變淡2 (Hong Kong)
  • 2009_10_30 關於野外橙紅陸寄居蟹的論文 (Hong Kong)


  • 2010_5_26 香港僅用11天蛻皮的橙紅 (Hong Kong)
  • 2010_12_9 台灣總結3年來的橙紅飼養觀察報告 (Taiwan)


  • 2011_5_7 台灣總結4年來的橙紅飼養觀察報告 (Taiwan)
  • 2011_6_5 香港我家橙紅快死了!!!!! (Hong Kong)
  • 2011_7_22 台灣我的橙紅脫皮了 (Taiwan)
  • 2011_7_27 台灣橙紅新手經驗分享 (Taiwan)
  • 2011_9_19 外國Average Strawberry Captivity Age (HCA forum)


  • 2012_7_28 國內整理蟹資料,覺得這些可能對養草莓的蟹友有幫助 (China)
  • 2012_10_18 橙紅陸寄居蟹一定是橙紅色的嗎 (Wild C.perlatus also lose color)


  • 2013_1_5 外國Straw observation – lower temps (HCA forum)
  • 2013_1_20 外國What is the life expectancy for strawberries in captivity (HCA forum)
  • 2013_1_26 國內关于草莓寄居蟹体色及习性调查 (China)
  • 2013_1_29 台灣鬼小虎大 玫瑰岩鹽與海水的比較!!!(論點心得分享) (Taiwan)
  • 2013_2_12 國內我的大草莓暴斃了 (China)
  • 2013_3_11 香港是否該用飼養海棲寄居蟹的方法去飼養橙紅 (Hong Kong)
  • 2013_4_23 外國C. perlatus (Strawberry) death rate (HCA forum) 
  • 2013_6_27 外國Rota島的橙紅陸寄居蟹實況 (Article about wild C.perlatus)

Share my 3.5 years’ experience

In June 2013, I decided to share the new C.perlatus I kept. It is because this C.perlatus had been already with me over 3.5 years. I hope my experience will help everyone to take care with this species.

In 2008, there was a boom of C.perlatus, one of a land hermit crab shop called ‘Art Crabs’ opened, and C.perlatus could also easily to be found in normal pet shop. Many new buyers bought C.perlatus but how many people can keep C.perlatus more than one year?

As I already kept C.violascens 2 years with sea water, lighting also set up, I think I can try to keep C.perlatus once again. So I bought a small C.perlatus in 2009. Before I suggested not to buy big & jumbo size crab (for all species), so if I bought C.perlatus, I must buy small one.

My small C.perlatus, original color is bright red, see below images:

Size: Shield length 6mm
Set up: 20 inch length (later change to 23 inch) tank, left side is activity area, right side for molt.
Sea water dish x 1, using Red sea salt or Ocean sea salt, change water everyday
Fresh water dish x 1, change water everyday
Substrates: used 2-3mm size coral sand
Lighting: EXO TERRA UVB 2.0 or5.0
Shelter: Plastic flower pot (cut as half shape), but now using ZOO MED cork rounds
Food: Carrot, papaya, potato, sweet potato, shrimp, fish meat, moss etc (Hikari krill, brine shrimp, worm etc)
Other food: Egg shell, cuttlebone, crab shell, change every week
*With one C.cavipes in same tank

20 inch tank(No plastic plant now)

2013 change to 23 inch tank(No plastic plant now)

After first molt in November 2009, color slightly lose, cannot keeep as his original color, but still keep bright red. Until 2011, after molt 3 times, he lost color very much, big claw almost became white, only have some orange stipe on legs.

In 2012, color start to improve. After molt in April 2013, orange color started to increase, please see below pictures.

November 2014, he changed a new bigger shell.










Share over 10 years’ experience from C.Sam

How to take care

Until now, still do not know which point is the most important that can keep C.perlatus so long, some points already mentioned by Tony on his website.

But for these few years, keep below rules:

a. Give them food every day. Meat and Vegetable for every meal. Meat should be boiled, e.g. sea food
b. Give them fresh water dish and sea water dish
c. Always give moss, crab shell, bark in tank
d. If find a crab molt soon, will isolate to another case (use coconut bark as substrates)
e. DO NOT force them to chnage shell, let them chose what they want

Why do not suggest to keep big size crab?

In fact, C.Sam do not suggest to keep big crab for all species, not only C.perlatus. C.Sam bought small, middle and big size C.perlatus before.

Big size: Suddenly dead after 10 months or even one or two months
Middle size: Bought 6 crabs, 2 still alive until now
Small size: Bought 6 crabs, all alive until now.

C.Sam think that seller almost import big size C.perlatus, as big size is more attractive and can be sold at better price. Big size C.perlatus easily die, ‘’Sales good, easily die’’ this reason is just fit seller’s Mentality. Big size crabs need more space, so need bigger tank. And Big size C.perlatus live in wild for many years, adaptability to Crabitat is not very good, so do not suggest to keep big C.perlatus.


Although my 10 years old (at 2019 October) C.perlatus lost color, he is very heathy.

By considering above case of losing color of C.perlatus and experience of me and C.Sam. I am going to say DO NOT buy C.perlatus, but if you buy, you must follow below (Some points same as C.Sam):

– Chose small size, DO NOT buy big & jumbo size, they are easy to die.
– Usually give them carotene food and sea food
– DO NOT touch them too much, only if you want to take them out for cleaning or take picture after molt (for record)
– If you are beginner, please DO NOT buy C.perlatus. You should at least have over one or two year experience, then think about C.perlatus.

I think sea water is more important than lighting (UVB). Some people think UVB can improve their color. But what I used is 2.0, UVB is very low, and C.Sam even do not have any lighting. Until now, we still do not sure if land hermit crab will be same as reptile which need UVB to provides necessary vitamins.

So, I think if we compare the importance of sea water, food, and lighting, I would say:
Sea water > Food > Lighting

Small C.perlatus also lose color, but their adaptability is much better. They will become more stable after several molt, and color begin to improve. The most important thing is they adapted the environment of Cabitat.

For Big C.perlatus, originally their adaptability is not good (May be very old). When they moved to Cabitat, apart from losing color, they will die because they are unable to adapt the environment of Cabitat.

If you want to interact with land hermit crabs, and always want to touch them, you are not suitable to buy C.perlatus, even other speices.

At last, let’s share some video of wild C.perlatus.

Follow up(2014)

25th December 2014

Below article is from < Biology of Arthropoda > page 112, this may explain why adaptability of C.perlatus to Crabitat is not very good. May be same direction as my conclusion mentioned, big size C.perlatus already used to maintain blood concentration condition in the wild, adaptability will be lower than small crab.

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