Many people find hermit crabs to be fascinating. They’re good pets that don’t require a lot of attention in comparison to many other popular pets.
When you start caring for hermit crabs, you’ll notice that they have eyes that look a bit different. How do hermit crabs see?
Do hermit crabs have good vision, or is their vision a bit different than usual? Below, you’ll learn many different facts about hermit crab vision.
This information will give you a greater understanding of hermit crab vision. You’ll know what they’re capable of, as well as the limitations of their vision.
Can Hermit Crabs See?
Hermit crabs can certainly see, but their vision is a bit different than you might expect it to be. The eyes of hermit crabs are prominent and they might look a bit strange to you at first glance.
These creatures have compound eyes that are mounted on stalks. Eyes such as this give crabs 360-degree vision.
You might think that this would mean that hermit crabs have exceptional eyesight. They can certainly see things, but their vision is actually rather limited.
They use their sense of sight for many things, but they actually rely more on touch, scent, and hearing. The way that hermit crabs use their sight is interesting.
Can Hermit Crabs See Color?
Yes, hermit crabs can see colors, but they don’t see colors in the same way that humans do. Hermit crabs have dichromatic vision.
This means that they see the world in shades of blue and yellow. They have two color receptors and their eyes can only see those two color combinations.
Since hermit crabs are nocturnal, they don’t really need to see many different colors. Seeing just two colors is enough for them to do what they need to do.
Interestingly, hermit crabs use their sight to help pick out shells. It also helps them to detect predators.
So a hermit crab’s sight isn’t useless. It does play an important role even if it isn’t as important as scent, touch, and hearing.
Most colors are seen as gray by the hermit crab’s eyes. They respond most strongly to the color blue.
Can Hermit Crabs Recognize Their Owners By Sight?
Hermit crabs can’t remember people by remembering their faces. They don’t recognize people by sight.
This doesn’t mean that hermit crabs can’t recognize their owners, though. Over time, hermit crabs will learn to recognize scents as well as sounds.
So a hermit crab might recognize you based on how you smell or the sound of your voice. As mentioned earlier, scent, hearing, and touch are the most important senses for hermit crabs.
Your pet hermit crab will learn to recognize you as you continue to care for it. Many enthusiasts even say that it’s possible to bond with hermit crabs to a certain extent.
They have limited vision, but that doesn’t keep them from being able to detect things. These creatures are rather alert and will recognize when you approach the tank.
Can Hermit Crabs Recognize Shapes By Sight?
Researchers are still learning more about hermit crabs all the time. Currently, it’s believed that hermit crabs aren’t capable of recognizing shapes by sight alone.
It’s thought that hermit crabs aren’t able to see fine details. They can only recognize shapes by using their sense of touch.
This is just another thing that shows that hermit crabs have limited vision. Vision is important for hermit crabs, but it’s not the most important thing.
Eyesight is primarily used as a way to detect predators. It helps them to stay alive by being able to recognize approaching threats using 360-degree vision.
When it comes to navigating the environment, other senses are more important. They use a combination of touch, scent, and hearing to navigate areas.
Hermit Crabs Can See in the Night
One thing to keep in mind is that hermit crabs are nocturnal. They’re active at night, and that means that they need to see at night.
Their eyes work in such a way that they’re good at seeing things when the sun isn’t out. Hermit crabs still have limited vision capabilities by human standards, but they can see well enough at night.
They can detect motion at night and react accordingly. This is great for getting away from potential threats such as predators.
Hermit crabs have vision that works best at night. So their sight will be as good as it’s going to be when it’s nighttime.
Hermit crabs will go around at night combing beaches for food. They’ll scavenge and eat dead fish or other such things to survive.
Finding things at night will be easier thanks to their sense of smell. They use all of their senses to get around and do the things that they need to do.
Hermit Crabs Have Sensitive Eyes
It’s important to know that hermit crabs have sensitive eyes. They don’t like being exposed to excessive amounts of light.
These creatures are nocturnal and they like to stay active during the evening hours and the night. Since wild hermit crabs come out during the night to scavenge for food, it makes sense that they would prefer when things aren’t bright.
When caring for hermit crabs in your home, it’s important to avoid bright lights. It’s fine to use lighting in the hermit crab habitat, but you must avoid harsh lights.
Using fluorescent or LED lights will be acceptable, but they shouldn’t be too powerful. It’s unacceptable to use powerful UVB lighting setups in a hermit crab tank.
Too much light will cause the crabs to experience stress. They will hate being exposed to lights that are too strong.
Even normal lighting should only be kept on for eight to twelve hours per day. Keep this in mind to protect your hermit crab.
Hermit Crab Missing Eyes
What does it mean when hermit crabs are missing eyes? Is this a normal situation?
You likely know that hermit crabs can lose legs or claws. Legs will sometimes be lost due to stress or injury.
The same thing can occur with the hermit crab’s claws. Hermit crabs can regrow legs and claws over time, but it might take quite a while.
When hermit crabs molt, they’ll regrow lost legs and claws. It might take several molting periods for the hermit crab to return to normal.
If a hermit crab loses an eye stalk, what does this mean? There are a few things that could have occurred.
Your hermit crab could have been injured in a fight with another crab. The fight could have resulted in the eye stalks being severed.
This is rather gruesome, but it can happen sometimes even if it’s not the most likely scenario. Generally, when eye stalks are missing this occurs due to self-mutilation.
Above, you learned that hermit crabs are very sensitive to light. Too much exposure to bright light will cause hermit crabs extreme discomfort.
Some hermit crabs might remove their own eye stalks due to light exposure. It’s a terrible thing to have happen, and you want to be careful not to put your pet hermit crab in such a bind.
During molting, it is possible for the eye stalks to grow back. They might not grow back if the damage to the nerves is extensive, though.
Also, there’s no guarantee that the regrown eye stalks will contain functioning eyes. Use this information as motivation to avoid exposing your hermit crabs to excessive light.
You’ve learned that hermit crabs can indeed see. They have eyes that are capable of seeing things in shades of blue and yellow.
Hermit crabs have dichromatic vision, and they’re able to see best at night. They possess two eye stalks that give them 360-degree vision.
This allows them to see predators as they’re approaching. They aren’t good at seeing fine details, though.
Hermit crabs have rather limited sight capabilities. They’re good at seeing things at night and motion detection.
Their vision isn’t good for navigating the environment. They primarily use touch, scent, and hearing to get around.
For hermit crabs, the senses of touch, hearing, and scent are more important than vision. This doesn’t mean that vision doesn’t matter, though.
Hermit crabs are very sensitive to light. As nocturnal creatures, they prefer not to be exposed to strong light sources.
When caring for pet hermit crabs, it’s important to protect them. Never use lights that are too harsh or powerful.
Only keep lights on for eight to twelve hours per day. If you do things wrong, the hermit crab might choose to harm itself due to stress.
Knowing more about hermit crabs and how they see should help you to care for them better. They’re interesting pets that will learn to recognize you via your scent or your voice instead of seeing your face.
Be sure to let your friends and family know what you learned about hermit crabs today. If any of them are interested in buying pet hermit crabs soon, it might be intriguing for them to learn about hermit crabs and how they see the world.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.