All fruit is safe for hermit crabs, but many will reject citrus fruit due to its strong scent. You must also ensure that the fruit hasn’t gone rotten and that it’s chlorine, pesticide, and herbicide-free.
Coconut, pumpkin, bananas, and berries are firm favorites of hermit crabs. However, avoid constantly feeding fruit to hermit crabs because they need a varied and diverse diet.
Can You Feed Hermit Crabs Fruit?
Hermit crabs have a sweet tooth, so they won’t need encouragement to eat. Fruit is highly nutritious, so it’ll provide a much-needed dietary boost to the health of hermit crabs.
However, there are rules before offering fruit to hermit crabs. Always get organic fruit, as it’s less likely to have been treated with pesticides and herbicides.
If the fruit is on the turn, that’s OK. Hermit crabs will eat grapes that are too wrinkly to visually appeal to humans but don’t feed them rotten or decaying fruit.
Serving Fruit to Hermit Crabs
Follow these guidelines before offering fruit to hermit crabs:
- When washing fruit, never use tap water because it leaves traces of chlorine on the fruit, which is toxic to hermit crabs. Instead, use purified, distilled, or bottled water.
- Don’t remove the skin from fruit because this contains most of the vitamins and minerals.
- Chop fruit into claw-sized chunks because hermit crabs have small mouths.
- Remove any cores and pips to minimize the risk of choking hazards or cyanide poisoning.
- Once hermit crabs have finished eating fruit, remove it because rotting food is a bacterial hazard.
Keep a bowl of saltwater in the enclosure so hermit crabs can smell the fruit.
As explained by BMC Neuroscience, hermit crabs pick up on smells in the air, and this sense relies upon the presence of saline water vapor in the atmosphere.
How Often Should Hermit Crabs Eat Fruit?
Animal Behavior explains that hermit crabs avoid recently eaten foods due to their wild scavenging instincts. On a beachfront, hermit crabs eat anything they find, but it’s always different.
Hermit crabs in captivity expect the same level of dietary diversity. By offering fruit occasionally, you’ll mimic the natural lifestyle of hermit crabs, helping them adapt to life in an aquarium.
What Kinds of Fruits Can Hermit Crabs Eat?
There are several ways that fruit can be offered to hermit crabs, but there isn’t necessarily a better way.
Can Hermit Crabs Eat Fresh Fruit?
Hermit crabs may be less fussy about a slightly green banana than humans because ripe fruit has the strongest scent, which attracts hermit crabs and encourages them to eat.
Can Hermit Crabs Eat Dried Fruit?
Dried fruit, whether you’re considering pre-packaged foods like dates or dehydrated slices of fresh fruit, makes a good treat. However, they should be served sparingly as they’re higher in sugar.
Weight gain through sugar isn’t a concern for hermit crabs. However, they can grow hyperactive if they consume too much sugar. Check the ingredients of pre-packaged dry food for artificial additives.
As per the Journal of Chemical Ecology, sugar produces an odor that garners an immediate reaction. If your hermit crabs grow to expect sugar-laden treats, they may reject healthier food options.
Can Hermit Crabs Eat Freeze-Dried Fruit?
Frozen fruit is a great way of stocking up on snacks without worrying about use-by dates. Provided the fruit hasn’t been stored alongside anything unsafe, such as onions, it’s safe for hermit crabs.
You can leave the fruit to thaw or serve it as it comes. The former may attract more initial interest because the scent of frozen fruit won’t be as strong at room temperature.
Hermit crab tanks have a high temperature, so anything frozen won’t remain that way for long.
Can Hermit Crabs Eat Citrus Fruit?
A longstanding myth claims that citrus fruit is toxic to hermit crabs.
Citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, grapefruits, and oranges are OK for hermit crabs. However, the trees that citrus fruit grow on are dangerous.
Many citrus trees have naturally occurring insecticides in their bark, leaves, and twigs, which are toxic. If there’s no trace of bark, the fruit won’t cause any harm.
Citrus fruit is a good source of vitamins A, B6, and C, calcium, and potassium. However, foods with a strong, acerbic scent are less appealing to the senses of hermit crabs.
What Fruits Are Good for Hermit Crabs?
Let’s look at the many and varied kinds of fruit that are safe to include in the diet of hermit crabs:
Apples have varying tastes and scents, which means that not all apples will appeal to hermit crabs. Find a type that hermit crabs enjoy because they’ll benefit from the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Avoid red delicious applies in favor of jazz or fuji apples. Also, cut apples open and remove the core because the pips contain cyanide.
Avocados are a good source of fiber, folate, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins C and K.
Avocado assists with the absorption of beta-carotene, which is a vital antioxidant for hermit crabs. More importantly, hermit crabs find avocado flesh tasty and appealing.
Avocados differ from many fruits because they must be skinned. Never leave the skin or leaves on this fruit; remove the large core seed by scooping it out. Then, chop up the flesh.
If your hermit crabs accept bananas in their diet, serve this fruit wherever possible. Bananas are a hermit crab superfood packed with vitamin B6, vitamin C, fiber, potassium, manganese, and magnesium.
Fresh banana is best served mashed in a dish or as freeze-dried chips.
Even a colony of hermit crabs will struggle to devour a whole banana. The heat of the habitat will quickly set the ball rolling on rotting, making old bananas a bacterial hazard.
We could wax lyrical about the health benefits of berries for hermit crabs. What’s more, berries frequently instigate a feeding frenzy. Any of the following are safe for hermit crabs.:
- Acai Berries
The bright color suggests that the fruit has a high beta-carotene level, an antioxidant that provides hermit crabs with their deep, eye-catching skin pigmentation.
For a real treat, mix blueberries with oatmeal. That may sound like a traditional weekday breakfast by human standards, but to hermit crabs, it’s a gourmet feast.
Sweet and juicy varieties of cherries will be desirable to hermit crabs. However, cherries grow on unsafe trees, so you’ll need to ensure all traces of growth are removed.
Cherries contain vitamins A, C, and K, and minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and choline, are found in this fruit.
Chop up and pit cherries before offering them to hermit crabs. If you slice and dice cherries, removing any pips, they’ll soon become popular with your pets.
The official classification of a coconut is a “one-seeded fruit.” If we arranged these fruits by order of preference and benefit rather than alphabetically, coconut would be near the top of the list.
Coconut is vital to hermit crab health, providing healthy fats and fiber. Vitamins and minerals include manganese, copper, selenium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and vitamins (A, D, E, and K).
It’s also delicious. If your hermit crabs are reluctant to eat, sprinkle desiccated coconut on a meal and witness the change in appetite.
You could place a halved coconut in an enclosure, as this will double up as a toy and a food source. Hermit crabs love hiding places and will sit inside the coconut shell.
Dates are a good source of fiber and antioxidants for hermit crabs. The high fiber content will assist with bowel movements, helping to promote digestive health and prevent constipation.
In terms of vitamins and minerals, hermit crabs will benefit significantly from the iron, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, and B vitamins found in dates.
Unfortunately, dates are also naturally high in sugar, so consumption should be moderated.
Grapes can make up a part of any hermit crab diet. In addition to their sweet taste, grapes are high in antioxidants. However, red grapes contain more beta-carotene than green grapes.
Grapes are also a minor deviation from our oft-quoted “ripe and fresh only” rule. Hermit crabs can’t eat moldy grapes, but slightly wrinkled and aged grapes won’t concern them.
This sweet fruit will appeal to the palette of most hermit crab palates.
Beta-carotene and zeaxanthin is the main benefit of mango for hermit crabs. Also, mangoes are high in Vitamin C, calcium, copper, and iron.
Peel off the skin because it’s too tough for a hermit crab’s mouthparts and can be coated in toxic chemicals and growth agents.
Melon, Cantaloupe, And Watermelon
Melon, watermelon, or cantaloupe are popular choices with hermit crabs. Also, the seeds are safe for hermit crabs, offering additional health benefits.
Melon is ideal for hydration; while hermit crabs thrive in hot temperatures, they can dry out. By offering fruits, you can supplement hermit crabs’ water intake.
Peaches And Nectarines
Peaches are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including choline, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, and vitamins (E and K).
Wait for peaches and nectarines to ripen before serving them. When the flesh is almost pure white, it’ll taste sweeter and carry a stronger scent.
Always slice a peach or nectarine open and remove any seeds.
If you decide to feed pears to hermit crabs, remove any seeds as they contain cyanide.
Concorde pears and Bartlett pears are the likeliest to garner a positive reaction because they’re juicy and boast a sweet flavor to match their scent.
Opuntia (prickly pears) are also appealing. Although, as part of the cactus family, they must be skinned.
If you introduce pears to the diet of hermit crabs, they’ll benefit from fiber, vitamins C and K, and antioxidants. However, they’re higher in sugar than other fruits.
As plums are fleshy, they’ll appeal greatly to hermit crabs.
The deep purple shade of plums also denotes beta-carotene, which will help fight free radicals. Plums are high in vitamins (A, C, and K), calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and folate.
Pumpkin can become a cornerstone of the fruit intake of hermit crabs. Pumpkin is also versatile because it can be served in pulp or seed form, which provides fiber, calcium, folate, and manganese.
Tinned pumpkin should be served occasionally, as its long shelf life may be due to preservatives. Pulp from a fresh pumpkin or seeds from a health food store is rich in goodness.
Are Any Fruits Unsafe for Hermit Crabs?
No fruit is verboten for hermit crabs. Even with vegetables, only onions and garlic must be avoided.
While no fruit is deadly, some factors can make them dangerous. You must take the time to ensure the fruit is clean, stripped of pips, and contains no artificial chemicals.
If you’re getting fruit from a tree, be aware of the safety of the branches. As covered while discussing citrus fruits, some trees contain natural insecticides, which are toxic to hermit crabs.
Can Hermit Crabs Drink Fruit Juice?
Hermit crabs can drink fruit juice but shouldn’t. We need to consider the drinking habits of hermit crabs because they submerge themselves in water.
If they submerge themselves in fruit juice, their skin will grow sticky, which could clog the gills or glue the hermit crabs inside their shells.
Hermit crabs can be clumsy, so they’re likely to spill the contents of their bowls. Congealed pools of sweet-smelling fruit juice will attract flies.
If you get safe and appealing fruits for hermit crabs, they’ll enjoy eating them.
However, the same fruit can’t be fed to hermit crabs daily because they’ll quickly grow bored. A varied menu of sweet, juicy fruits alongside other sustenance will keep hermit crabs in good health.