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A month without a shell - pics of molt deformity

Discussion in 'General questions about care.' started by JediMasterThrash, Apr 17, 2008.

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  1. This topics a bit old, but I reference it in my lessons learned from a deep clean post, so I wanted to post it here.

    I've had quite the fighter for a couple of months. I first noticed something weird when there were constantly empty shells lying around the tank. They weren't where they would have fallen from their wicker shell basket, so I had to assume someone abandoned them. I always looked around for a dead crab, but never found one.

    I eventually found the culprit. A small E that had a molt deformity. The last segment of his rear right leg is upturned funny, and doesn't appear to be functional. And the back right side of his carapace is folded up weird. I've circled the two spots in the picture.

    [img width=300 height=231]http://jedimasterthrash.boldlygoingnowhere.org/crabbies/deformed1.jpg[/img]

    Because of his deformed back carapace, the shells probably don't feel very comfortable on him. So that's why he was constantly dumping his current shell and trying out another one.

    Well, then one day I find him in the water bowl, without a shell, and figure he's passed. So I pick him up, and nope! He springs to life and flails around. I originally kept giving him new shells to try, but he never lasted in them.

    Eventually he just dumped wearing shells altogether, and has been living naked in my tank ever since (about a month now). And he's still very active. Not a sign of lethargy or sickness. So hopefully he should come out of his next molt OK. He spends a lot of time dunking his butt into the water though, as would be expected.

    I know there's some poeple who collect pictures of molt deformities for research, so I thought they'd be interested. And I thought it was also good to show proof that crabs can survive without shells for long periods of time. Crabs don't necessarily die because they left their shell. Crabs usually are sick anyway first, and then leave their shells because of their sickness.
  2. queenofthecrabs

    queenofthecrabs (Small Crab)

    Jan 2, 2006
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    WOW!!! I am truly impressed! I hope your crab has a better molt! I just had a PP who had a horrible molt and was deformed . Three weeks later she surface molted ,since she had no claws to dig down and came out looking all spiffy! (all parts intact) She is a healthy eater and seems to doing great! In my 3 years of crabbing i have never had a molt go so wrong and had a survivor! Yea crabs you are strong creatures!!!Keep us posted!
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