Skip to Content

Are Hermit Crabs Social? (And Do They Need a Friend?)

Are Hermit Crabs Social? (And Do They Need a Friend?)

Share this post:

This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Many people don’t know much about hermit crabs. You might have heard that these creatures are becoming more popular as pets these days.

They can be a lot of fun to own depending on your expectations. For many, they’re easy pets to care for, and the overall ease of care is the main appeal.

Others like that these crabs don’t take up much space. You can keep multiple hermit crabs in your home without using up too much room.

This is great for those who live in small environments. Are hermit crabs social, though?

Do hermit crabs like to live alone or do they prefer having friends? Will hermit crabs socialize with humans or is that not possible?

Continue reading to get the answers to these questions and more. You’ll learn about just how social hermit crabs are.

Hermit Crabs Are Social

Hermit crabs are indeed social creatures. They’re social creatures that typically live in communities where many other hermit crabs are around.

Land hermit crabs live close to the shoreline so that they’ll have access to both sand and water. There will be many hermit crabs in the area and they will interact with each other.

Sometimes hermit crabs will even exchange shells with each other. In fact, hermit crabs have been observed lining up in groups to exchange shells.

So you can see that they’re social creatures that are used to interacting with each other. This is true when it comes to captive hermit crabs as well.

Can Hermit Crabs Live Alone?

Land Hermit Crab Climbing on Stalk of Plant

Is it fine to keep hermit crabs alone? Or is that going to be less than ideal?

Well, some people do choose to keep hermit crabs by themselves. However, many enthusiasts argue that this is cruel since hermit crabs are social creatures.

It’d be better to keep more than one hermit crab in the habitat. This doesn’t mean that hermit crabs can’t be kept alone, though.

Hermit crabs can survive when living alone so long as you’re caring for them properly. If you keep your hermit crab in an appropriate environment and meet all of its care needs, it should remain relatively happy.

Despite this, you should know that hermit crabs are much happier when they have friends. If you want to do things right, it’s recommended to keep hermit crabs in groups.

Can Hermit Crabs Live Together?

Yes, hermit crabs can live together. It’s actually recommended to keep hermit crabs in small groups.

Many hermit crab enthusiasts say that you should never keep hermit crabs alone. It’s recommended to keep at least a pair of hermit crabs in the habitat.

Hermit crabs are social creatures that like being able to interact and communicate with others of their kind. The crabs will be much happier together than they will be if you keep them alone.

If you go by the recommendations of hermit crab enthusiasts, the ideal number of hermit crabs to keep together is at least three. So long as you have enough room for three hermit crabs, it’s best to go with at least three of them.

Keeping just two in the habitat will still be better than keeping only one hermit crab. There are things to consider when keeping hermit crabs together in a habitat, though.

Hermit Crabs in the Sand With a Couple Shells

Hermit crabs might fight with each other if you don’t take certain precautions. Usually, they wind up fighting over shells.

If both hermit crabs want a particular shell, they might wind up fighting over it. You can keep this from happening by putting many shells of various sizes in the tank.

Ensure that there are at least two shells of each size if you’re caring for two hermit crabs. There should be one shell of each size for each hermit crab that you have in the tank.

Taking this precaution really does make it less likely that the crabs will fight. If you do a good job, you should have a positive experience caring for multiple crabs in your home.

How Many Hermit Crabs Can Live Together?

There isn’t a specific limitation on how many hermit crabs can live in one habitat. However, it’s important to ensure that each hermit crab has enough space.

It’s recommended to have five gallons of space for every hermit crab in the terrarium. You also need to have the right equipment to keep the terrarium warm enough and to ensure that the humidity level stays in the right range.

In the wild, hermit crabs live in large colonies. They might gather in colonies of up to a hundred hermit crabs.

So just keep the amount of space that you have in mind when buying hermit crabs. Don’t overcrowd the terrarium since that will only complicate things.

Can Fiddler Crabs Live with Hermit Crabs?

Blue Fiddler Crab

Under no circumstances should you let fiddler crabs live in the same terrarium as hermit crabs. Doing so would put the hermit crabs in grave danger.

The hermit crabs might survive well enough under some circumstances. However, when hermit crabs start molting, they’ll be incredibly vulnerable to the fiddler crabs.

Fiddler crabs are known as aggressive diggers. They will dig into the sand and eat the molting hermit crabs.

You certainly don’t want this to happen to your pet hermit crabs. Thus, it’s best to put any thoughts of keeping fiddler crabs with hermit crabs out of your mind.

Do Hermit Crabs Get Lonely?

Yes, hermit crabs do get lonely when they’re left alone for long periods of time. If you are away from home all the time, the hermit crab is going to get rather lonely.

Loneliness is really only a problem for hermit crabs that are living solo. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to keep hermit crabs with other hermit crabs.

Having at least two hermit crabs in the habitat will alleviate loneliness issues. It’s much better to prevent hermit crabs from getting lonely.

Many enthusiasts say that it’s possible for hermit crabs to die of loneliness. Don’t take any chances and get your hermit crabs one or two friends so it won’t be lonely.

Can Hermit Crabs Live with Other Animals?

It is possible for hermit crabs to live with other animals. Some types of lizards and reptiles can live in the same habitat as hermit crabs.

You need to pick the right types of lizards or reptiles, though. If you don’t, they could die due to needing different conditions than the hermit crabs.

Geckos should be fine with hermit crabs. It’s also said that certain types of turtles can live with aquatic hermit crabs.

Aquatic hermit crabs can also live alongside certain types of fish. You have to be careful when picking fish, though.

The fish must thrive in the same conditions as the aquatic hermit crabs. Some options you can look into include clownfish, firefish, cardinalfish, and gobies.

You don’t need to put other animals in the habitat with land hermit crabs or aquatic hermit crabs. It’s simply something you can look into if you want to spice things up.

Do Hermit Crabs Like Interacting with Humans?

Baby Hermit Crab in the Palm of a Hand

When it comes to interacting with humans, hermit crabs will be social to an extent. Hermit crabs won’t play or socialize with humans in the same way that they would other hermit crabs.

That being said, hermit crabs can learn to trust their owners. Over time, a hermit crab will get used to being cared for by its owners.

Hermit crabs are able to recognize their owners in a few different ways. They can’t remember their owners’ faces by sight.

Instead, they’re capable of recognizing their owners based on their scent. Each person has a distinct scent and hermit crabs can recognize this scent.

It’s also possible for hermit crabs to learn to recognize the cadence of your voice. When you call out to the hermit crab, it’ll learn to come out to greet you.

If you make a chirping noise, the hermit crab will chirp back at you. It’s interesting to see that hermit crabs do this.

Final Thoughts

Knowing more about hermit crabs should make it easier to understand how social they are. They are friendly creatures that truly do best when living with others of their kind.

You should consider keeping at least three or four hermit crabs in a group. This will be a better experience for you and the crabs. It shouldn’t be hard to get a terrarium that has enough space for a small group of crabs.

Even keeping two crabs together is better than keeping a single hermit crab. Technically, hermit crabs can live alone if they’re cared for properly.

However, crabs can get lonely and this might lead to the death of the crab. You shouldn’t keep a hermit crab by itself unless you can interact with it a lot. Even then it’s not the best choice.

Make good choices for the hermit crab and your habitat. This will ensure that the hermit crab stays healthy and lives a long time under your watch.

Owning hermit crabs is a lot of fun, but you have to do things right. Be sure to let your friends know what you learned today if they’re thinking of buying hermit crabs as pets sometime soon.

Share this post: