Do Hermit Crabs Change Colors? (7 Interesting Facts)

Many people ask, do hermit crabs change colors in their lifespan? If you want to keep the hermit crabs, you should know the behavior and other interesting things. Many new pet parents are surprised when they see changes like color change. They start worrying. So, it is best to do in-depth research on a pet you will own.

Do hermit crabs change colors? Legs and body color vary widely in hermit crabs. They have many species. They can change the body color and turn it into tan and orange. At the same time, the color of the legs stays the same, that is greenish. Long clawed hermit crabs have a tan body with a reddish tinge. On the other hand, broad claws have slightly red, tan and gray.

Do hermit crabs change colors
Do hermit crabs change colors?

In this article, we will discuss whether hermit crabs change colors, why my hermit crab is changing colors and many other related things. Let’s dive into the details of do hermit crabs change colors.


Why Is My Hermit Crab Changing Colors

You can determine the color of a hermit by knowing the details of the species you own. The color of hermit crabs’ color changes when they become an adult or when they are near to molting. If you are worried about the color of shells, then you should not. It is because they can change their shell. Hermit crab molting is a process by which they replace the older shell with new ones.

If you see that hermit crab is changing its color, then there is something incorrect in the enclosure of habit. You should check the humidity level and temperature with a hygrometer and thermometer, respectively. The optimum temperature for them is about eight degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity level should be eight per cent. 

But this is not for all of the species. The temperature may vary from species to species. Some are adaptable to live in cooler climates. Others need heat, and they need a moderate environment. color fading can also be due to the stress caused by the environment. You should know the overheating symptoms in them. So, you can decrease it when there is overheating in the enclosure.

The humidity level should be at eight per cent. When there is a decrease in humidity level, it results in suffocation, which can be very problematic. Improper lighting in the tank can cause stress. You should give them proper light because they bask when they are in the wild. If a hermit is not okay with light, then reduce light intensity.


How Do You Know When A Hermit Crab Is Dying?

Many people don’t know why they change their color. In molting, they think that they will die because there is a color change. It is important to know what the dying symptoms of hermit crabs are. Following are the signs that tell us hermit crabs are about to die.



When they are about to molt, they tend to start digging in soft sand. In molting, they buried themselves in the sand. So, it is a good thing to check the habitat’s temperature if you see this type of behavior in them.


Increased Appetite

Hermit starts refusing the food. You will see a significant decrease in the appetite of hermit crabs. When they go molting, they eat a surplus amount of food to store energy. They gather nutrients and fats, but they are nocturnal, so you cannot notice this type of thing.


Color Change

There is a color change in the exoskeleton of hermit crabs. color becomes dull. Their eyes also become dull in color. The colors of claws and legs change into white. But this is not the case in all cases.



They feel stressed when they get stressed or threatened. When they meet such things in life, they start hiding under something present in the tank. You will also see many other symptoms like digging, decreased appetite, lethargy etc. so, keep your eye on crab. If you see such types of symptoms, then you can consult with your vet.


Why Is My Hermit Crab Getting Lighter?

Do hermit crabs change colors? You will see that there is a decrease in the weight of crabs after molting. You will also see that there is a color change in them. Some light beige element is also present on the surface of the body. But these elements are particularly found in chelipeds.


Do Hermit Crabs Prefer Light Or Dark?

They are nocturnal, it means that they don’t need light at night. Nighttime crabbers have a weapon that is a flashlight. They don’t need light, so you should not give them light for relaxing. They have a natural adaptation to search out the object in the nighttime.


Do Hermit Crabs Like Dark?

You can give them light in day and night time. It is because it will be helpful for them to search the things in the tank, but if you don’t provide them, it will be okay. You should not give them much light because it is not good for them. So the crabs are sensitive to light, and they get stressed when exposed to high light.


What Does A Dead Hermit Crab Look Like?

Do hermit crabs change colors? When they are dead, their body doesn’t remain inside the shell. The body hangs outside the shells after the death of hermit crabs. Some time in molting, new pet parents think that hermit is about to die. You should know the difference between the molting and sign of death.


Why Do Hermit Crabs Change Shells?

Many reasons are behind the changing of shells by hermit crabs. As they grow, they need to upgrade the housing and then upgrade into bigger shells. When someone owns a new pet, they wish that they stay with him forever, but this cannot happen. They have a very large lifespan compared to other pets like dogs, cats and bearded dragons. They can live more than thirty years.


What Do Hermit Crabs Eat?

Do hermit crabs change colors? They are omnivores and can eat tiny clams and mussels. They can eat the dead microalgae and animals. These are also crustaceans, and they are misnamed because of two reasons. They are not true crabs, and they cannot grow their shells by themselves because of a non-uniform hard exoskeleton.

Do hermit crabs change colors
Do hermit crabs change colors?


Hermit Crab Colors

Hermit crab color meaning when they change color after molting. You can determine the color of a hermit by knowing the species. You can see there is a color change in them after molting. Molting is a process in which they change their shells. It would be best if you didn’t worry about the color of a hermit because they will be changed after molting when they change their color.



When they are near to molt, you see that their look is very poor. Do hermit crabs change colors?  It means that they are ready for molting. You see that their color becomes pale and many other changes are there. At this time, they want to bury themselves in the sand, and then they come out after the molting. When they emerge out, you see that their color has changed.


Claw Color

Do hermit crabs change colors? The color of claws tells us which hermit crab belongs to which species. In many crabs, the color of the pincer is the same as the rest of the body. But in Caribbean crabs, the color of the pincer is purple to bluish.


Leg And Body Color

Legs and body color can widely vary between crab species. Do hermit crabs change colors? They usually have red and orange legs. On the other hand, Ecuadorian crabs gave the bluish-gray and green colors of the body. They have the same color in their legs. They can change body color into tan and orange while the color of the legs stays greenish.

After molting, when they change their body shells, you will see the complete color change in them. Moulting is a natural process of upgrading housing.


Shell Color

When you choose the shell color of hermit crabs, then it is a very enjoyable parts. As they grow, they change their body shells. It is best to own three sizes in crab habitat to choose when times come.


Why Does My Hermit Crab Look Pale?

If the color of hermit crabs turns white and pale, it can be due to the stress caused by some environmental issues. They look white in the molting phase. In this process, they change their shells. When they have calcium bicarbonate and salt exposure, they turn into white color. You need not worry about pale color if it happens before molting.

The color of the hermit crab should be vibrant and bright. The hermit crab’s exoskeleton is white that is covered with fresh skin. It gives them a colorful look. If they have white and pale colors, it is due to environmental stress.

Before molting, they have natural color when they are about to molt, and then they replace the old shell with new ones. They replace the older shells for regular and proper growth. When they have excessive salt exposure, it will result in a change of color. If you see that they are out of the shell and the coloris white, then it means that they are dead.

They have vibrant and deep colors. There is no universal color for them. There is a different color for different species. But if you want to know the species type, you should check the jaws of your crabs to know the exact species information you own.

If they have pale color, it does not mean that they are dying and sick. If color change is due to environmental stress, then it will be okay after some time.


Salt Overexposure

When there is overexposure to salt, it results in the pale color of hermit crabs. But it is mostly seen in the wild when the shell becomes immersed in the ocean.  In other cases, it is washed by waves for a long time onshore.


Nutritional Deficiencies

The white color in hermit crabs can be due to nutrient deficiencies. When they don’t eat an insignificant amount of nutrients, then it leads to a change in color. When there is less magnesium and calcium in the feed, make the color.

Sea biscuits and cuttlebone are excellent sources of calcium. You can feed them with these things to minimize the loss of calcium. You can also feed them with fruits, vegetables, fish and meat, etc. Keep in mind that a balanced diet is very important to any individual’s safe and healthy life cycle.


Why Do My Hermit Crabs Turn Purple?

When they are in the molting phase, the color of claws becomes purple, and it looks dull and dark in color. As we know that there is an exoskeleton present on the body, the skeleton is very helpful to save them from getting serious issues.

Do hermit crabs change colors
Do hermit crabs change colors? Do hermit crabs change colors in summer? Do hermit crabs change colors while molting?


Final Verdict On Do Hermit Crabs Change Colors

Yes, they do change colors. They may change their color when they are in the molting phase. Molting is how hermit crabs change their previous skeleton to the new ones. This is a natural adaptation for proper growth and development of the body.

As a pet lover, make sure to learn about pet more and give your pet hermit crab a good and comfortable life!

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