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Establishing Rank

Discussion in 'General questions about care.' started by Laughs O Lot, May 30, 2009.

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  1. Laughs O Lot

    Laughs O Lot (JUMBO CRAB)

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    Hi! I'm curious about hermit crabs establishing rank in their colony. When I first introduced Lou-Lou to the others, I saw a lot of feeler fights and pushing matches, which I recognized as normal behavior for when a new hermit crab comes to town.
    The ones between Crusty and Lou-Lou were especially feirce. Crusty is male and Lou-Lou is female and they are both the same size. First they would face eachother and move their feelers rapidly and then they would push and shove eachother. It was fascinating to watch until it became too violent. In the third match, Crusty scratched Lou-Lou and she recoiled into her shell, so I pulled them away from eachother. Should I have pulled them away or is it normal for two equally matched hermit crabs to get more violent? Then, in the fourth match, they seemed to be getting extra ciolent so I separated them right away. Is it normal for hermit crabs to do this so many times? The first two Crusty walked away first, but the third one Lou-Lou walked away. Is the hermit crab who walks away first the "loser" or the "winner"(I don't know how to put it in better terms) or is it insignificant after all?
    Also, I'm curious because it was mostly just Crusty and Lou-Lou doing this. Crusty and Sherbert did it once that day but it didn't get violent and Crusty walked away first. I'm confused about that, because Lou-Lou was the newbie, not Crusty. Sherbert and Crusty had known eachother for months. I didn't see Ocean get into any of these rank- establishing matches at all. She was the biggest and was very gentle, easily intiminated by the other hermit crabs sometimes. Did the other hermit crabs not hav matches with her because she was the biggest and considered her to be the alpha, or because they knew she was gentle and easily intimidated so they considered her to be the lowest rank? My last question: From this thread, who do you think is the alpha of my colony? Thank-you! Sorry this thread was so long~ I just have so many questions about this fascinating topic!
     
  2. cococrisp

    cococrisp "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    I think that maybe the bigest one would be the alfa. I'm not sure if he is mean to the others. If they show agression it's usually fine as long as it's not a shell/ kill fight. That's pretty much what I know about ranks and stuff. I would not worry about your crabs as long as they have plenty of shells and good conditions. They may also be fighting over a hiding place. Usually the bigger one will get it. If you don't have many hiding places then get some more. With the right care, they should be fine.
     
  3. Laughs O Lot

    Laughs O Lot (JUMBO CRAB)

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    Thanks! They only did it for one day, so I don't think it's a problem. I'm just so curious about how to tell which one is the alpha if they're all the same size!
     
  4. OneOnion

    OneOnion "Preparing For Third Molt"

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    Haha, that reminds me of something. Once I saw Buster and Deadly in a plastic pot hiding place thing and Buster(Who's probably the grouchiest in the tank) kept rolling Deadly out of the pot and Deadly would wait a few minutes and go back into the pot and then Buster would roll Deadly out of the hut and that kept happening and then about 5 times later I decided to put Deadly into another hiding place so he wouldn't get hurt. :rolleyes: Hermit crabs are so funny sometimes
     
  5. leathaface

    leathaface Hi, I'm New Here!

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    I'm not exactly sure whats going on, but if its a territorial thing, i remember reading that taking the crabs out and rearranging the stuff in the tank, will give them a 'new environment' and so they re-establish territories. This is to prevent the newbies from being attacked by the 'veterans'.

    It certainly makes sense, especially considering the simple brain functions of our lovable crabs. As long as you don't rearrange it like a mirror image, they'll probably be fooled. I'd say its worth a shot. But sometimes they just hate one particular member for no reason.
    Like how some dogs go crazy when they see white coloured dogs etc.
     
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