While considered a berry by botanists, grapes are officially classified as a fruit. Grapes are grown on the vine of the Vitis plant and can be found worldwide.
The sweetness of grapes appeals to hermit crabs’ palette. Frontiers in Chemistry explains how hermit crabs gravitate to foods with a sweet taste and scent. Red grapes are sweeter than green grapes.
Grapes provide hermit crabs with calcium, potassium, copper, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin K, antioxidants, and beta-carotenes that help maintain a bright, vibrant exoskeleton coloring. However, grapes are high in sugar, and hermit crabs will grow bored of grapes if fed too frequently.
Do Hermit Crabs Like Grapes?
Hermit crabs love sweet tastes and aromas, and grapes offer this in abundance.
Grapes come in a wide array of colors, with subtle differences in taste. The two most abundant types of grapes are red or green, and red grapes are tastier and boast more health benefits.
They’ll likely show interest if you place sliced grapes in a hermit crab enclosure.
Can Hermit Crabs Eat Grapes?
Not only do grapes appeal to the palate, but they also help hermit crabs remain healthy. Grapes also make a good treat or training reward for hermit crabs.
Consider offering grapes early in the adoption process to tempt hermit crabs out of hiding and combat post-purchase syndrome (PPS). Providing such an appealing snack means that your hermit crabs are likelier to consider captivity a source of pleasure.
Are Grapes Good for Hermit Crabs?
The nutritional breakdown of half a cup of red grapes or green grapes is as follows:
While grapes are high in sugar, this is tempered by the health benefits, which include:
- The presence of calcium for a strong exoskeleton.
- Carbohydrates provide hermit crabs with energy.
- Low salt (sodium).
- Natural antioxidants, most notably resveratrol.
- High levels of Vitamin C for the immune system.
- Vitamin A promotes superior eyesight.
- Beta-carotenes help hermit crabs maintain a vibrant skin color.
The darker the color of the grape, the better it’ll taste to hermit crabs, and the more it’ll bolster health. Although they cost more, purple and black grapes are even more nutritious.
The main advantage of feeding red grapes over green grapes, other than taste preference, is the higher presence of resveratrol. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences explains how this antioxidant fights oxidative stress, which causes disease.
How To Give Grapes To Hermit Crabs
Always shop organic if you bring grapes into your hermit crab’s diet. Grapes grow in farmed terrains and risk being treated with herbicides and pesticides.
Rinse grapes under a cool tap before serving. Once this is done, you can chop and offer the grapes in small chunks or mash them into jelly.
However, if you offer grapes to your hermit crabs, keep the serving size small. If necessary, provide a second portion during the same feeding session.
Hermit crabs enjoy grapes so much that they may hoard them under the substrate. This will lead to grapes spoiling, potentially spreading bacteria which generates mold and mildew.
Chopping grapes and serving them in chunks is the easiest way to offer this fruit to hermit crabs. Don’t peel the grapes before serving, as many health benefits are found in the skin.
A whole grape will be too large for a hermit crab’s tiny mouth, so cut grapes into small, bite-sized chunks. Cutting open a grape also releases more scent, piquing your hermit crabs’ attention.
Food and Chemical Toxicology confirms that grape seeds don’t contain toxins. They can still pose a choking hazard, so remove the seeds if possible.
Soft, mashed food is often appealing, as hermit crabs have no teeth.
Grape jelly can be found on most supermarket shelves and will be an appealing treat for hermit crabs—dab grape jelly on your finger when handling a new hermit crab to earn its trust.
The trouble with store-bought grape jelly is that it’s high in sugar. So, it needs to be served even more sparingly than traditional grape produce. It may be safer to create your own by following these steps.
- Pre-heat a saucepan on a low-temperature hob.
- Pour grapes into this saucepan and cover.
- Leave to simmer for 5 minutes. Check the grapes at this time, as the juices should start running.
- Crush the grapes using a fork or potato masher.
- Simmer for a further 10 minutes, mashing occasionally.
- Remove the grapes from the heat, sieving out any excess juices.
- Place the sieve over a bowl, cover, and leave overnight, so the mixture solidifies and dries.
While this jelly will be more tart than the jelly you purchase from a store, it’ll still contain enough scent and sweetness to please your hermit crabs.
Raisins, Currants, and Sultanas
We have yet to cover raisins, currants, and sultanas, all forms of dried grapes. These foods can be the simplest way to encourage your hermit crabs to eat grapes, as they’re ideally sized.
Of these three potential snacks, sultanas are arguably the healthiest option. Sultanas are sweet, juicy, and soft while not as large as raisins; currants have a slightly more intense sweetness but can also be tangy for a hermit crab palate.
Introducing these dried grapes into a hermit crab eating plan can be a way to keep grapes interesting, minimizing the feeding of traditional grapes but still providing health benefits. A small bowl of sultanas mixed with dried nuts is a great hermit crab meal.
How Often Should Hermit Crabs Eat Grapes?
Any food, even a firm favorite, should be fed to hermit crabs sparingly. Hermit crabs are scavengers and are used to a different taste sensation every 24 hours, and even grapes can become dull in this instance.
At most, grapes should be fed grapes twice a week. Mix up your approach if you decide to offer grapes twice in the same week. Switch between red, green, and dried grapes, and vary between mashing them and serving them as solids.
As grapes are so popular with hermit crabs, there’s a case for holding them back for special occasions. The temptation of grapes may help tease a shy hermit crab out of hiding or to comfort your hermit crabs if you move them ahead of deep cleaning a tank.
Most hermit crabs adore the taste of grapes and offer enough goodness to make them a welcome addition to any feeding plan. Your pet hermit crabs will enjoy these sweet treats if you choose your grapes carefully and prepare them appropriately.