Last Updated on: 19th October 2023, 08:03 am
Pineapple (Ananas comosus) has a distinctive appearance and sweet, sharp taste. The sweetness and unmistakable aroma of pineapple appeal to most hermit crabs.
Pineapple has no toxic parts. However, the acidic nature of pineapple flesh can be uncomfortable for hermit crabs’ mouths. Pineapple is also high in sugar, which hermit crabs crave.
Pineapple contains calcium, bromelain, phenolics, vitamin C, and flavonoids.
Is Pineapple Good for Hermit Crabs?
There are advantages to introducing pineapple to a hermit crab’s diet.
Here’s the average nutritional content of one cup of fresh pineapple:
Benefits of Feeding Pineapple to Hermit Crabs
Pineapple contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, most notably flavonoids, phenolics, and bromelain. These will assist the immune system, digestion, and tissue healing.
Crustaceans rarely get sick, but adding some pineapple to their diet can be beneficial.
Pineapple is a good source of B vitamins, notably niacin, thiamin, folate, and B6. This will assist with energy production, helping hermit crabs burrow, climb, and explore their surroundings.
The fiber content of pineapple is beneficial for digestive transit, preventing constipation. Hermit crabs pee and poop regularly, usually inside their shells, several times per day.
Drawbacks of Feeding Pineapple to Hermit Crabs
The sugar content is the main issue. If hermit crabs get a taste for sweet snacks, they may reject other foods that are higher in essential nutrients, like calcium and protein.
Pineapple is also high in non-volatile acids, notably citric, malic, and ascorbic.
The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry explains that further unknown acids are also found in pineapple, lending the fruit its sharp taste.
While non-toxic, they create a burning sensation due to bromelain (the fruit’s enzymes). Hermit crabs may experience mild oral and digestive discomfort if they consume excessive pineapple.
What Parts of The Pineapple Can Hermit Crabs Eat?
If you offer fresh pineapple to hermit crabs, cut it open to allow them to enjoy the benefits. It takes additional work but is better than tinned pineapple chunks.
Feeding fruit to hermit crabs fresh from a produce market is preferable. Buy organic if you can, although it’s still advisable to wash fruit to be safe.
Once washed, the pineapple crown, the distinctive leaves on the top of the fruit, is safe for hermit crabs. It’s unlikely that hermit crabs will eat the leaves because they’re tough and lack flavor.
A pineapple crown is best used as a decoration or climbing toy in the tank because hermit crabs like scaling walls and objects.
You can use a crown to grow a pineapple. You’ll find stems protruding from the leaves, called pineapple slips. Again, these are safe to eat, but few hermit crabs will be interested.
The pineapple rind is tough and should be removed. Hermit crabs lack teeth, which could be a choking hazard even if they use the chelipeds to cut pineapple rind down to size.
Another consideration surrounding pineapple rind is the spiky skin. Pineapple is a fusion of countless fruits, and the spikes surrounding the fruit are the legacy of these plants.
The flesh of the pineapple is where a hermit crab will gain all the goodness this fruit offers. You should remove the skin and stalk before offering the flesh in chunks or mashed.
Tinned Pineapple Chunks
Tinned pineapple chunks are a popular snack and may seem more convenient than cutting up the fruit, but canned goods carry more risk.
Tinned pineapple may contain added sugar and be preserved in brine. There’s no way of knowing what preservatives are used in brine, so it’s best avoided.
If you browse the freezers of a supermarket, you’ll find frozen chunks of pineapple. These are primarily intended for use in smoothies but are usually safe for hermit crabs.
Check the ingredients of frozen pineapple to avoid additives or preservatives.
If the fruit is natural, allow it to thaw before adding any to the tank. A few ice flakes aren’t a concern because the temperature in the tank will carry out the defrosting.
How To Give Pineapple To Hermit Crabs
Cut or mash chunks of fresh pineapple for hermit crabs. Place them in a feeding dish and put them into the tank before the hermit crabs awaken.
The scent of the pineapple will stimulate the hermit crabs, especially if you put the fruit close to a water bowl. Most hermit crabs wake up hungry and ready for their meal.
Pineapple is hardier than most fruits, even when exposed to a hermit crab enclosure’s heat and humidity. Don’t leave it uneaten for 24 hours because it’ll go bad.
How Much Pineapple Can Hermit Crabs Eat?
Hermit crabs can eat a few chunks of pineapple once a week. If a hermit crabs enjoy other fruits, limit pineapple to once every two weeks.
Pineapple is a treat for hermit crabs but isn’t a cornerstone of their diet. Feed pineapple occasionally to prevent them from overindulging in sugary foods.