Sweet tastes and their associated rich scents are extremely enticing to hermit crabs.
Strawberries (Fragaria ananassa) are a good source of vitamin A, C, magnesium, potassium, folate, antioxidants, beta carotene, and soluble fiber.
Strawberries are surprisingly low in sugar, considering how sweet they taste. While hermit crabs always need variety in their diet, strawberries should be kept in rotation as an occasional snack.
The only risky component of strawberries is the tops, as farmers spray these with herbicides and pesticides, which are toxic. Shopping organic and washing the strawberry tops removes this threat.
Do Hermit Crabs Like Strawberries?
Every hermit crab is unique, so it’s difficult to say that all of them will enjoy a particular food. Strawberries are as close as any food to being universally adored due to their unique texture, taste, and aroma.
You’ll soon discover if your hermit crabs are fond of strawberries. Place some in the tank immediately before or after your hermit crabs wake up. They will likely descend upon the food dish.
Like all berries, strawberries are porous and absorb moisture in the air, so they’ll spoil in a hot and humid environment. So, remove the strawberries before they start to release mold spores.
Are Strawberries Good for Hermit Crabs?
Here’s the nutritional information for 100g of ripe strawberries:
As you’ll see, there are many reasons why strawberries should be offered to hermit crabs. In addition to tasting great, they have lots of nutritional value.
Benefits of Strawberries
Strawberries are a superfood for a good reason. Just some of the health benefits that come from offering hermit crabs strawberries include:
- Vitamin C aids the immune system of hermit crabs.
- Folic acids, manganese, calcium, and protein build and strengthen the exoskeleton.
- Potassium provides hermit crabs with energy.
Strawberries are home to numerous antioxidants, which stave off sickness, and beta carotene, which contributes to deep, vibrant skin colors. For example, the strawberry hermit crab resembles a strawberry due to beta carotene.
Drawbacks of Strawberries
Aside from the fact that strawberries don’t last long when placed in hot, humid conditions like a hermit crab habitat, there are no concerns surrounding these fruits.
What Parts of A Strawberry Can Hermit Crabs Eat?
Few hazards can arise if you purchase organic strawberries and wash them before applying them to a hermit crab habitat. However, it pays to understand the suitability of other parts of a strawberry:
Strawberry Tops and Leaves
Most people cut the tops off strawberries before serving because strawberry tops (calyx) are treated with chemicals during growth. Additionally, strawberry leaves are erroneously deemed inedible.
Strawberry leaves are safe for hermit crabs to eat but are usually a casualty of chopping off the calyx. If you can be certain that your strawberries are chemical-free, there’s no need to chop off the tops.
Most fruit seeds come with dire warnings not to be consumed, as they contain toxins, but this isn’t the case with strawberries. Every strawberry contains around 200 seeds within the achenes.
Achenes are found on a strawberry’s exterior – they’re the small white or yellow dots found on the fruit. Strawberry achenes are fruits in and of themselves, playing host to tiny seeds.
According to the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, strawberry achenes are also packed with nutritional value. Vitamin C, beta carotene, and various flavonoids are found within them.
You may need to encourage your hermit crabs to hydrate on hot days.
Hermit crabs are reliable at drinking enough water, but squeezing juice from a strawberry into water will create a tempting scent that will resolve any reluctance.
Only apply a pinch of strawberry juice. If you apply too much, you’ll make the water sticky and clumpy. If a hermit crab decides to climb into the water and submerge itself, it’ll coat itself in this substance.
A small dab of strawberry jam on the tip of your finger is a great way to teach hermit crabs to welcome handling. Place a hermit crab in your palm and allow it to lick up the jam.
Hermit crabs will associate handling with pleasure if you do this a few times.
While you should never pick up hermit crabs for no reason, there will be times that you need to move them physically. Relocating hermit crabs to clean a habitat or isolating a hermit crab set to molt will be easier if they accept handling.
Making your own jam can be time-consuming, so purchasing a jar from the supermarket is easier. Ideally, get a sugar-free, organic brand.
Strawberry-flavored milk is a popular human treat, but it’s unsuitable for hermit crabs.
It’s claimed that hermit crabs are lactose intolerant, but that’s not strictly true, as they can digest small quantities of cheese or milk.
Alas, there’s little to gain from hermit crabs drinking strawberry milk. They may enjoy the taste, but store-bought strawberry-milk products are loaded with sugars and additives and have no health benefits.
Additionally, hermit crabs are messy eaters and drinkers. Spilling milk on the substrate will lead to staining, bacteria, and insects, unbalancing the hermit crabs’ ecosystem.
How To Feed Strawberries To Hermit Crabs
Strawberries are small enough to be fed to hermit crabs whole.
Hermit crabs will cut the strawberries further to size using their chelipeds. Alternatively, you can cut strawberries in half; this releases more of the scent, which may tempt them into eating.
You could mash strawberries and place them in a dish. Hermit crabs are likelier to immediately eat this way, rather than burying any strawberries and saving them for later.
How Many Strawberries Can Hermit Crabs Eat?
While it’s probably not advisable to offer an entire punnet of strawberries to hermit crabs at once – too much of any food can cause a stomach upset – they don’t need to be moderated too much.
Consider the size of hermit crabs when offering strawberries. Start with one or two strawberries per hermit crab in your habitat. This should be enough to discover if your hermit crabs enjoy the taste of strawberries and minimize the risk of the fruits spoiling in the heat.
How Often Can Hermit Crabs Eat Strawberries?
Although strawberries are healthy for hermit crabs and often popular, they should only be fed sparingly. Keep these fruits to one serving a week, twice at most.
According to Marine Ecology, wild hermit crabs enjoy an extremely varied diet, rarely scavenging for the same food twice in 24 hours. If you offer the same foods, hermit crabs will likely reject them instinctively.
Strawberries should always feature on a favorite foods list for hermit crabs. These fruits make a perfect snack or treat, balancing nutritional benefits with a taste many hermit crabs adore.