Anemone hermit crab – Dardanus pedunculatus
Species name: Dardanus pedunculatus
Common names: Anemone hermit crab, Anemone-Carrying Hermit Crab
Maximum length: 4 in.
Minimum tank size: 100 gallons
Reef Compatibility: No. It will eat almost anything that is not quick enough to stay out of its way. This includes corals, fish, snails, and worms. Will also steal food from sessile invertebrates.
Distribution: Indian Ocean
Diet: Omnivore. Will scavenge most anything in the aquarium: meaty food, detritus and some algae. It also prey on smaller animals that are not quick enough to stay out of its way. Feed meaty bits such as table shrimp, scallop, silver sides, mysis shrimp, clam and mussel. It will appreciate offerings of Nori or other vegetation as well.
Dardanus pedunculatus, also known as Anemone hermit crab or Anemone-Carrying Hermit Crab is found on sandy areas surrounding reefs where it spend its time scavenging for food.
The Anemone hermit crab can be identified by its green eyes and claws with spines on the outer surface. The body is red, orange and white. It can also be identified by the anemones on its shell. The hermit crabs of this family have formed a symbiotic relationship with the anemone Calliactis polypus. The anemone attached to the shell provides camouflage and protection while the anemone benefit by getting food from the crab. By moving around the reef, the Anemone hermit crab also help the anemones disperse.
In order to grow, hermit crabs must molt (like all crabs). At night, the crab will crawl out of its shell to exit its exoskeleton. A new exoskeleton will harden after molting, and is aided by maintaining a proper iodine level. After the molting process, they will sometimes seek out a new shell if the old one isn’t big enough. When the crab find a new shell, it transfers the anemones to his new home.
For this reason, a good supply of empty snail shells is needed. If they can’t find a new shell, they might attack and kill snails for their shell.
The ideal aquarium should have a temperature of 72 to 78F with a pH of 8.1 to 8.4 and a specific gravity between 1.023 and 1.025. It requires plenty of rock work and hiding places. It requires a well-established aquarium with ample rocks, crevices, caves.
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