Owners regularly cut up small pieces of fruit to feed their hermit crabs. Diced chunks of apple should, in theory, also be a nutritious, tasty food. Is apple good for hermit crabs?
It’s safe for hermit crabs to eat apples. These fruits are high in carbs, water, fiber, calcium, and antioxidants. As hermit crabs have a sweet tooth, red apples – especially Fuji apples – are a favorite treat. Leave the skin on the apple as it contains carotenoids, but remove the pips.
Most hermit crabs like eating apples. It’s just a matter of choosing the right type of apples, and feeding them the right amount. With 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the U.S. alone, not all apples are as nutritious or tasty.
Can You Feed Hermit Crabs Apples?
As discussed, apples can be eaten by hermit crabs. Try to avoid feeding the pips of apples to your pet hermit crabs. While there is no proof that apple seeds are actually toxic due to the presence of amygdalin, they can become a choking hazard.
Do Hermit Crabs Like Apples?
Hermit crabs have an unmistakable sweet tooth. This means that many hermit crabs will enjoy eating apples. It depends on the type of apple and the palate of individual hermit crabs, of course.
Cooking apples, for example, are likely to be rejected as they have a sour taste. Cooking apples may also lack the distinct scent associated with apples. It is the inviting smell that attracts hermit crabs to this fruit.
Take a ripe, fresh apple and cut it in half to release the scent. Place this in the enclosure just as your hermit crabs are awakening from sleep. You will likely find that your pets descend upon the apple in a matter of moments.
All hermit crabs are different, and some may not have a taste for this fruit. There are plenty of alternatives available with equal or greater nutrition. Do not leave apples to rot in the heat and humidity of a hermit crab tank.
Do Hermit Crabs Eat Apples in the Wild?
As scavengers, wild hermit crabs will eat almost anything. This could include apples. Some hermit crabs will even climb trees in search of food.
Most often, they will seek out fallen or discarded food at ground level. This could include apples that have fallen from a tree or cores discarded by humans on the beach.
This does not mean that apples are a preferred snack for wild hermit crabs. As discussed, these animals gravitate toward sweet taste sensations. Many apples that grow in the wild have a sour taste, especially before ripening.
The bark of an apple tree can be toxic to hermit crabs. These trees often contain a natural anti-pesticide called bacillus thuringiensis. As per the Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, this is found in many organic fruits and vegetables.
Pesticides, whether organic or treated, are toxic to hermit crabs. Hermit crabs can remember adverse experiences, so they will avoid foods that previously caused sickness or illness.
Are Apples Good for Hermit Crabs?
No matter which apple you choose, there will be pros and cons. This must be taken under advisement before offering them to your pets. Consider what is most important in a hermit crab diet. This could include:
- Calcium, for a strong and sturdy exoskeleton
- Carbohydrates, to provide the hermit crabs with enough to move
- Antioxidants, for general health
- Fat, to store ahead of molting when hermit crabs eat their discarded exoskeletons
- Carotenes (especially beta-carotene) to retain bright, appealing coloring
As per Nutrition Journal, apples also contain phytochemicals. These ensure the presence of antioxidants and carotenes.
Apples contain carbohydrates, though these are tempered by fiber. Sweeter, more appealing apples also contain extra simple sugars. While hermit crabs do not gain weight, it’s inadvisable to engage their sweet tooth too much. Your hermit crabs may reject other healthy snacks.
Any apple, aside from cooking apples, could be considered good for hermit crabs. Just feed them in moderation. Also, take the time to learn which apples your pets enjoy eating the most.
What Types of Apples Can Hermit Crabs Eat?
As discussed, hermit crabs can enjoy a wide array of different apples. There is no doubt that some apples are better than others. Let’s look at the most popular types of apple as food for hermit crabs:
|Red Delicious:||Bitter peel and soft, chewy flesh. This is among the most common fruits, but it is unlikely to appeal to hermit crabs.|
|Golden Delicious:||A greener alternative. Slightly more balanced flavor, but still unlikely to appeal to the palate of hermit crabs.|
|Granny Smith:||One of the most popular choices of green apple. Packed with nutrition, but hermit crabs may prefer something sweeter.|
|Pink Lady:||Tasty due to sweetness and a satisfying crunch. These apples also have a larger core than most.|
|Gala:||Soft skin, making it easy for hermit crabs to eat, and a fine balance of sweet and sour flavor.|
|Jazz:||Packed with carotenes, just enough crunch to satisfy, and a hint of pear flavor to keep hermit crabs interested.|
|Fuji:||Arguably, the sweetest apple, so certain to interest hermit crabs. Brightly colored, so carotenes are plentiful.|
You may find that your hermit crabs prefer different types of apples. Your hermit crabs are much likelier to enjoy a Jazz or Fuji apple than a Red Delicious due to the level of sweetness, though.
Should Hermit Crabs Eat Red or Green Apples?
Green apples are healthier for hermit crabs. They contain more Vitamins A and K, iron, potassium, and fiber. They also contain less sugar.
Alas, this means that green apples are less appealing to the palate of hermit crabs. As far as hermit crabs are concerned, the sweeter an apple tastes, the better. Do not be surprised if your hermit crabs reject green apples.
Can Hermit Crabs Apple Cores?
Ordinarily, apple cores are undesirable. This is because the core of these fruits hosts seeds, which in turn contain amygdalin. Once consumed, amygdalin releases cyanide into the bloodstream.
It has never been proven if amygdalin harms hermit crabs. In the wild, hermit crabs eat apple cores. As scavengers, they’ll eat any food waste left by humans. In captivity, there is no need to resort to such scavenging.
It seems needless to take any risks, especially when apple pips are also a potential choking hazard. Remove cores and pips before serving.
Can Hermit Crabs Eat Applesauce?
Applesauce can be an effective snack for hermit crabs. Some applesauce can be packed with artificial preservatives that cause harm to hermit crabs.
An alternative to applesauce can be apple-based baby food. Many hermit crabs enjoy these meals. They are also usually organic, consisting primarily of mashed fruit with any harmful elements removed.
You can use applesauce to build the trust of hermit crabs. Place a little on the top of your finger when handling them. The smell of the applesauce will distract from the stress of handling. Eventually, with this reward on offer, handling may even be welcomed.
Can Hermit Crabs Drink Apple Juice?
Apple juice is best avoided, on the grounds of safety and hygiene. We need to consider how apple juice is made, and how hermit crabs hydrate.
Hermit crabs do not drink from a bottle. They submerge entirely in a water source, often storing more fluid in their shell. As you can imagine, your hermit crabs will get sticky and messy if they bathe in apple juice.
What’s more, apple juice – at least, the type that would be considered hermit crab appropriate – is made by crushing whole apples. This will include the core and seeds. This means the presence of cyanide remains a risk. Stick with water if you want to be 100% safe.
Feeding Apples to Hermit Crabs
When feeding any fresh fruit to hermit crabs, shop organic, and wash it thoroughly in cool water. This ensures there are no traces of harmful pesticides or other chemicals on the apples.
You do not necessarily need to cut apples up before serving. Many hermit crabs will converge around a whole apple. Chopping can be safer, though. This way, you’ll ensure the core and seeds remain uneaten.
Cutting an apple into fingers helps ensure that all hermit crabs get their share. Alternatively, just cut the apple in half. This will release more scent, which attracts the attention of hermit crabs. This also the easiest way for you to de-core an apple.
One thing you should never do is remove the skin. As per Annals of Botany, apple skin contains more carotenoids than the flesh of the fruit. This means you’ll need to avoid apples with bitter-tasting skin.
How Often Should Hermit Crabs Eat Apples?
No matter how much your hermit crabs enjoy applies, they cannot be enjoyed daily. This is less a health issue and more related to lifestyle. Hermit crabs will grow bored of apples if served too often.
In the wild, hermit crabs can access all manner of food. Wood, moss, fecal matter, animal corpses, and trash are like a buffet of different taste sensations for hermit crabs.
Serve applies once a week at most so that they remain interesting. Apples are a good addition to the diet of hermit crabs. They offer the ideal combination of appealing flavor and health benefits.