Home » Do Hermit Crabs Have Good Hearing?
do hermit crabs have ears?

Do Hermit Crabs Have Good Hearing?

Hermit crabs chirp to ward off rivals by rubbing their body parts together or against their shells to make a sound. Also, hermit crabs vibrate within their shells as a warning. This means hermit crabs can hear.

Hermit crabs use their antennae and sensory hairs on their 10 legs to detect vibrations. However, they can only detect low-to-mid-range frequencies in a nearby radius.

These noises are translated into a sound that hermit crabs use to avoid predators. Since hermit crabs mostly rely on their sense of smell, they don’t need good hearing.

Do Hermit Crabs Have Ears?

Hermit crabs don’t have ears, so they respond to sounds with their:

It’s difficult to determine how well hermit crabs can hear. We can’t give them a test to determine their hearing range, but we can observe how they respond to dangers based on sound.

According to Biological Sciences, sounds made by predatory fish alter how marine hermit crabs behave. Instead of foraging near a predator, they’ll search for food elsewhere.

Do Hermit Crabs Hear With Their Legs?

Hermit crabs have 10 legs covered with hairs, like tiny antennae, that detect vibrations.

Like a human’s inner ear translates this into sound, a hermit crab’s legs interpret low-to-mid-range frequencies as noise. This enables hermit crabs to do the following:

  • Navigate away from predators.
  • Detect encroaching hermit crabs and issue warnings.

Vibrations aren’t the only sensory information hermit crabs’ hair can gather.

Using the statocyst structure, they can detect changes in balance or orientation. That can help them adjust should they fall over or understand how to balance when climbing over an object.

are hermit crabs sensitive to noise?

Do Hermit Crabs Hear With Their Antennae?

Hermits rely on their antennae, like most arthropods. They note the following factors:

  • Temperature differences.
  • Changes in air pressure.
  • Vibrations.

This allows hermit crabs to detect changes in the weather and hear the world around them. Even if they don’t have good hearing, their antennae can warn them if a predator is nearby.

How Well Can A Hermit Crab Hear?

Hermit crabs don’t have good hearing despite having 10 legs and up to 4 antennae.

Hermit crabs can only detect sounds and vibrations that are nearby. They’re also deaf to anything beyond a low-to-mid-range frequency.

A hermit crab’s main defense is retreating into its shell. As they spend their days consuming decomposing matter, being able to hear long distances is unnecessary.

However, that doesn’t mean hermit crabs are unaware of their surroundings. Most rely on their sense of smell to pick up where their hearing left off.

A hermit crab’s ability to smell increases in humid environments, especially underwater. If a marine hermit crab can’t hear a predator fish from a distance, it may still smell it.

Are Hermit Crabs Sensitive To Noise?

Hermit crabs have a neurological response to a wide range of frequencies, using this ability to avoid enemies. It may be unconcerned if a hermit crab doesn’t think the sound is nearby.

Also, the hermit crab may not hear a high-frequency sound. They won’t be concerned by these noises:

  • Playing a musical instrument.
  • Watching television.
  • Listening to loud music.

If the noise is directly beside the tank, lower frequencies (like a solid bass) may cause hermit crabs distress. Consequently, they may react by moving away or chirping.

If you’re in doubt, play the sound for a few minutes and see how they respond. If they don’t move away, chirp, or retreat into their shells, they’re unconcerned by the noise.

Do Hermit Crabs Like Noise?

Hermit crabs have a limited hearing range, so it’s difficult to tell if they like or dislike noise.

After all, danger is near when a sound is close enough (and loud enough) to be detected. It can also mean it’s about to fight a rival for its shell.

If this wasn’t the case, and hermits had a broader hearing range, they may enjoy sounds. However, we can conclude that hermits are indifferent to noise.

Hermit crabs ignore it if it’s far away or too gentle to indicate danger. If the noise is nearby, hermit crabs may fear what the sound indicates, not the sound itself.

Can Hermit Crabs Hear Music?

Many hermit crab owners like to play music as entertainment for their pets. While some claim that hermit crabs love it, others observe no reaction.

Their response will largely depend on the kind of music you play.

Strumming a guitar next to a hermit’s enclosure is more likely to garner a reaction than playing a song on your phone because the vibrations are more likely to be registered by a hermit crab.

Likewise, high-pitched music may be outside of a hermit crab’s range of hearing, which means playing the violin may be less impactful than playing the drum.

If you want to experiment with what music your hermit crab can detect, you’ll need to experiment. Adjust the equalizer to increase or decrease the bass and treble.

do hermit crabs like noise?

Can Hermit Crabs Hear You?

The deeper and louder your voice, the more likely hermit crabs will detect the sound. High-pitched and quiet voices will have little effect.

Hermit crabs mostly hear you based on your footsteps and movements.

Approaching the tank with heavy strides will produce stronger vibrations than a speaking voice. Likewise, tapping your finger on the substrate in the tank will be more impactful than calling a hermit.

The closer you are to the hermit, the more likely it is to hear you.

Let the sensory hairs along the hermit crab’s legs and antennae pick up the vibrations. The lower the range of the sound and the heavier the vibration, the more easily it’ll detect it.

Do Hermit Crabs Make A Noise?

Hermit crabs aren’t silent creatures, but they are quiet pets. They make chirps to communicate.

According to Crustaceana, this can often be interpreted as musical. Some researchers compare it to the strings of a violin being plucked, while others compare it to a bird.

Owners often liken it to a cricket sound, but this depends on the hermit crab. A cricket sound may be more accurate, as hermit crabs use stridulation, which involves rubbing two body parts together.

Even though they produce this sound at night, they can also do so during the day when distressed.

According to the Ecological Society of America, hermit crabs make this sound to defend themselves. Chirping in rapid succession can register as loud to fellow hermit crabs.

Some owners claim that a chirping noise also indicates excitement.

Some owners also believe that hermit crabs chirp as a mating call. This isn’t entirely true, but you’ll notice hermit crabs making the sound during the mating season. It’s a way to scare off other males.

Do Hermit Crabs Vibrate?

Aside from chirping, hermit crabs know how to communicate using vibrations. According to the Journal of the Marine Biological Association, this usually means rubbing against the inside of their shells.

For example, if one hermit crab is being evicted from its shell by another, it may begin to shake. These tight, controlled vibrations unleash a frequency nearby that hermit crabs feel and hear.

A full-bodied shake may do the trick if a chirp is insufficient. Depending on the intensity or persistence, the attacking hermit may get annoyed (or scared) and decide to move on.

Hermit crabs don’t have good hearing, but they aren’t deaf. They can detect sounds at a limited frequency range and only nearby sounds.