Frogs and hermit crabs don’t interact in the wild, as they live in different climates and locations. So, they’ll struggle to coexist in captivity, as it’s impossible to create the right environment for both animals.
Frogs live primarily in freshwater environments, while hermit crabs are native to saltwater terrain. Both are nocturnal and can survive in similar temperatures, but hermit crabs require more humidity.
Pet frogs are usually more sedentary than hermit crabs and are used to living alone, so they may grow annoyed by active and excitable hermit crabs.
Frogs sustain themselves on live prey, so a pet frog may consider a hermit crab to be food.
Get two separate enclosures if you want to keep frogs and hermit crabs in your home. These two animals are too biologically different to safely share an environment.
Can Hermit Crabs Live with Frogs?
Attempting to house hermit crabs with other animals, except certain types of fish, is always risky. Hermit crabs can live with some reptile species, but can you put frogs with hermit crabs?
The most popular breeds of frogs kept as pets include:
- Dart frog (Dendrobates sp.) – avoid the toxic varieties.
- Gray tree frog (Hyla chrysoscelis).
- Horned frog (Ceratophrys sp.) or Pac-Man frogs.
- Red-eye tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas).
- Whites tree frog (Litoria caerulea).
Each frog has unique needs, and frogs and hermit crabs share similar lifestyle requirements.
Both enjoy warm, humid conditions. Frogs and hermit crabs also enjoy hiding, potentially burrowing under substrate in a habitat. Alas, these two animals have more differences than similarities.
The most important consideration when weighing up the lifestyle of amphibians and crustaceans is their natural habitat. Most hermit crabs are native to saltwater environments, like the beach, while frogs prefer freshwater territory, like swamps.
One species of hermit crab (the Clibanarius fonticola of Vanuatu) lives in freshwater environments. Unfortunately, this hermit crab isn’t available as a pet.
The temperature needs of frogs and hermit crabs are fairly similar. For example, a captive tree frog will flourish in an enclosure heated to around 75OF – hermit crabs like an ambient temperature of 80OF. Also, hermit crabs need humidity around 20% higher than frogs.
How about marine hermit crabs? These animals will also struggle to live with frogs, primarily due to the salinity of water required for hermit crabs. Equally, while many species of frogs can live underwater for a prolonged period, they will eventually need to surface.
Captive frogs have an average lifespan of up to 20 years, depending on the species and conditions in which the frog is kept. You’ll need a perfect environment for them to live this long.
Hermit crabs have an unfair reputation as short-lived, disposable pets, but they can live for up to 30 years if cared for appropriately.
Hermit crabs rarely survive longer than a year if their care needs aren’t met.
Keeping frogs and hermit crabs in the same location will likely result in a shorter life for both animals, as neither will flourish in compromised conditions that aren’t tailored to their specific needs.
Frogs and hermit crabs are both omnivorous, but this is where the dietary similarities end. Hermit crabs are natural scavengers who seek food wherever they can, while frogs are likelier to hunt live prey.
Pet frogs need a steady supply of live insects, most notably mealworms and crickets. Purchasing these insects from a pet store will ensure they’re fed a nutritious diet that will benefit the frog. Some species will also eat worms or even small mice.
Hermit crabs won’t enjoy hunting live food. Instead, they’ll rely on a steady and reliable diet of fruits and vegetables, with meats offered occasionally.
One thing that hermit crabs and frogs have in common is a passion for leafy greens, but neither animal can sustain itself on this alone. Frogs need live food, and hermit crabs change their diet daily, rejecting the same food if offered twice in 24 hours.
Many species of pet frogs are nocturnal, just like hermit crabs, so both animals will be active. Hermit crabs are energetic, so they’ll climb, dig, and antennae wrestle.
Pet frogs are more docile, and most prefer a steady pace of life. This means that a frog may grow aggravated and irritated by hermit crabs.
Will Frogs and Hermit Crabs Fight?
Frogs and hermit crabs aren’t natural bedfellows and will likely never have encountered each other before you house them together. This makes conflict possible.
Frogs are the more predatory of the two species, so they may consider a hermit crab a food source. Even if the frog isn’t interested in eating a hermit crab, its presence may inspire defensive measures.
While hermit crabs rarely fight with other animals unprovoked, they’ll use their chelipeds to defend themselves if they consider this necessary. This can result in injury or death.
The suboptimum living conditions faced by both species can increase stress and aggression. Even the most good-natured animal can become antagonistic when in inappropriate conditions.
One way to minimize the risk of fighting is adopting tree frogs and providing tall decorations for frogs to dwell in. While hermit crabs love to climb, they’ll primarily remain on the surface level of a habitat.
Do Hermit Crabs Eat Frogs?
It is unlikely that a hermit crab will stalk and attack a live frog to make it a meal. Pet hermit crabs are usually much smaller than frogs and will lack the appetite to take on a larger, more powerful foe, especially if well-fed.
Hermit crabs may eat the corpse if a pet frog dies under your care. As natural scavengers, hermit crabs will never decline the opportunity to consume a corpse.
Do Frogs Eat Hermit Crabs?
Frogs are likelier to attack and eat a hermit crab than vice versa.
Many species of frogs sustain themselves on live prey, most notably insects. If a frog spots a small hermit crab, instinct may be initiated, and the frog will attack.
Hermit crabs may hide within their shell when a frog attacks, making it difficult for a frog to access the hermit crab inside, as frogs have tiny teeth designed to hold prey, not chew.
If a hermit crab doesn’t hide inside a shell, it’ll likely fight back. The grip of a hermit crab’s claws can be surprisingly strong, so a frog could easily get hurt.
Frogs and hermit crabs will never meet in the wild and shouldn’t be forced to live together in captivity. Amphibians and crustaceans have different lifestyles and needs, and neither will like sharing a tank.