Hermit crabs have a sweet tooth, so fresh fruit is a popular addition to their diet. Apples are a particular favorite of hermit crabs, provided you pick up a variety with an appealing scent and taste.
Gala, Jazz, and Fuji apples are likely to capture the imagination of hermit crabs, as they are bursting with a sweet flavor. You may find sourer alternatives, like a Red Delicious or Granny Smith, garner less interest.
Apples can add goodness to a hermit crab’s diet. Apples are a rich source of calcium and protein, two of the cornerstones of a robust, healthy hermit crab exoskeleton. Many apples also contain antioxidants to bolster general health.
Served safely and in the appropriate moderation, apples are a good addition to a hermit crab’s diet. If you already keep apples in the home, you can offer them to hermit crabs as they start to turn.
Do Hermit Crabs Like Apples?
Every hermit crab has unique taste buds, so there’s no universal food. Sweet fruits appeal to hermit crabs, so you’ll likely find that apples are popular, assuming you choose the right kind.
There are many types of apples, but hermit crabs like some more than others. If you want to see if apples pique the interest of hermit crabs, consider the following varieties:
- Fuji – These are possibly the sweetest apples, and the bright color of the skin ensures that the fruit is filled with antioxidants, such as carotene.
- Gala – These apples are affordable and easy for most hermit crabs to eat due to their soft skin.
- Pink Lady – Many hermit crabs love Pink Lady apples because they’re extremely sweet and crunchy. These apples have a larger core, so a lot may go to waste.
- Jazz – These apples have an interesting and unique flavor, with a hint of pear, so they’re likely to pique the curiosity of a fussy hermit crab seeking variety.
Tread carefully around these types of apples, as there’s every chance they’ll be rejected:
- Red Delicious – The name is a misnomer, as a Red Delicious apple is surprisingly bitter.
- Golden Delicious – More balanced than a Red Delicious, but still a little bland for a hermit crab.
- Granny Smith – These green apples are rich in nutrients but lack sweetness.
Whatever kind of apple you offer hermit crabs, remove any seeds first. As per the Journal of Toxicology, apple seeds contain traces of cyanide, which could be fatal to a hermit crab.
Are Apples Good for Hermit Crabs?
As well as offering an appealing taste sensation, apples are full of goodness. The nutritional data of a Fuji apple, which we consider the best choice for hermit crabs, is as follows:
Other apples have varying nutritional information, so if you’re not offering Fuji apples to hermit crabs, check how different variations will affect your hermit crabs.
Can I Feed My Hermit Crab Apples?
We’ve now established that you should feed apples to hermit crabs. Just ensure you choose the best varieties of apples, remove the pips, and offer them in moderation.
Benefits of Feeding Apples To Hermit Crabs
Hermit crabs will gain many benefits from eating apples and a great taste. Some of the advantages of offering apples to your hermit crabs include:
- Protein and calcium help hermit crabs develop a strong exoskeleton.
- High potassium levels, especially in Fuji apples, will keep organs functioning optimally.
- Carotenoids are found within the skin of an apple, helping hermit crabs maintain a bright, lustrous coloring and improve their immunity.
- Carbohydrates provide hermit crabs with enough energy to play and climb, keeping them entertained within captivity.
- According to the Nutrition Journal, antioxidants, via phytochemicals, bolster immunity levels.
- Hermit crabs aren’t as fussy about freshness as humans, so you can offer hermit crabs apples that are starting to wrinkle and turn.
Introducing apples to your pet hermit crabs’ diet helps them flourish and improve life expectancy.
Drawbacks of Apples for Hermit Crabs
It’s hard to find any issues with feeding apples to hermit crabs.
While these fruits are comparatively high in sugar, that doesn’t need to become a health concern. Ensure your hermit crabs don’t refuse other food as their sweet tooth has been overindulged.
What Parts of an Apple Can Hermit Crabs Eat?
If you’re going to feed apples to hermit crabs, you must understand a universal truth – not all parts of an apple are created equal. Let’s learn more about the edible and inedible parts of an apple:
Apple Skin and Flesh
As explained by the Annals of Botany, the skin of an apple contains the most carotenoids found within the fruit. This means that apples should always be offered to hermit crabs with their skin still on.
Carotenoids are critical to captive hermit crabs. Not only will carotenoids ensure that hermit crabs maintain bright, striking coloring, but they also prolong their lifespan by enhancing immunity.
As well as the skin of an apple, the flesh contains lots of goodness. The flesh of an apple is packed with fiber, protein, and calcium, which is also the part that hermit crabs can smell from under the substrate.
Apple Core and Seeds
When offering apples to hermit crabs, the core must be removed.
Apple cores contain seeds, which are dangerous to hermit crabs. Apple seeds contain amygdalin, cyanogenic glycoside made from a combination of sugar and cyanide.
Thankfully, most apples only have 5-8 seeds, so removing them is comparatively easy. It’s essential to do so, as just one apple seed can be life-threatening to a hermit crab.
The scent and sweetness found in apple juice are sure to appeal to hermit crabs. This may make apple juice a tempting way to encourage hermit crabs to hydrate.
If you want to apply apple juice to a hermit crab’s drinking water, limit it to 1-2 drops. After submerging in the liquid, an entire bowl of freshly squeezed apple juice will spoil and cling to a hermit crab’s skin.
How To Feed Apples To Hermit Crabs
Before offering apples of any variety to hermit crabs, ensure it’s safe. To avoid mishaps, undertake this method of apple preparation for hermit crabs before placing the fruit in a habitat:
- Wash the apple thoroughly, removing any traces of pesticides or herbicides.
- Cut away the core of the apple and discard it.
- Chop or dice the remaining flesh of the apple, always leaving the skin on.
- Check each piece of the apple, ensuring there are no seeds.
- Place the apple in the enclosure immediately before your hermit crabs awaken.
- Remove any uneaten slices of apple while your hermit crabs are sleeping.
If you follow these steps, your hermit crabs can safely enjoy the varied benefits of apples.
How Often Can I Give Apple to Hermit Crabs?
Limit the feeding of apples to twice a week, maximum. This way, your hermit crabs won’t consume too much sugar. In addition, it’ll appeal to your hermit crabs’ desire for dietary diversity.
As per the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, wild hermit crabs rarely eat the same thing twice in 24 hours. Even food hermit crabs love, such as apple and pineapple, can lose luster if offered too frequently. Maintain a healthy balance in your hermit crab’s diet.
Most fresh fruits are ideal for adding to a hermit crab’s diet, but apples are among the best choices. A fresh, juicy red apple will always appeal to hermit crabs and offer many health benefits.