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  1. hermom

    hermom "Never Molted"

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    Greetings, folks...I have a real challenge. Today I added 10 new hermies to my colony of 18, and I thought I was quite familiar with species - until I met these guys. To begin with, I can tell you they're not PP'ers (I'm lucky enough to have 5) and the balance of the colony is basically tan and/or orange.(presumably E's). Well, I found myself looking at a tankful of new arrivals - the smallest was loonie-size. After selecting 10, I had to stop - the majority are golf-ball size or larger. And the species...I don't know where to start searching! Virtually every one I chose was different, so they vary from plain grey, to zebra-striped grey/black, to green! Do you know of a photo-description area without checking every species? All I can go on right now is memory without checking eyes, etc., as they are destressing in iso. and eating their 6th oz. of home-grub & 8 oz. of waters)!
    Thanks for everyone's help.
    hermom
    [​IMG]
     
  2. JeffCrab

    JeffCrab Hi, I'm New Here!

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    What you are describing (the zebra- like stripes) seem to be a ruggie, they can be any color under the rainbow-orange purple blue green and everything in between! lol my little poem!
     
  3. hermom

    hermom "Never Molted"

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    Thanks for your suggestions; maybe I'll have an idea of the species (sorry - don't know how to do pics & computers!) when they settle down. Had to separate 4 largest in iso's today - golf-ball+ size. I'm sure that at least 5 or 6 are E's due to eyes and tan/orange colouring. But the rest? Baffled by true green colour, marking on carapace, pincher sizes. Sad part was having to draw the line at 10 and leave 10 behind...which brings up a serious question for me.
    My original colony (in the 10-gal. -PPer's & E's) of 18 is quite comfortable together. But...I just bought a 30-gal. tank and about to set it up, but, what do I do? Move my original colony & their belongings to the 30 first and let the 10 newbies chill in the 10 gal. tank first?
    My thoughts are to move the original colony first as they are smaller, so they know what's where to protect themself if need be. Eventually move 1 or 2 jumbos in, check it out and meet the "owners" - after a bath, of course. Am certainly open to any and all suggestions and advice.
    Thanks!
    hermom
     
  4. hermom

    hermom "Never Molted"

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    BTW - is anyone familiar with a "coconut" crab? And what does "lol my little poem" refer to?
     
  5. moire_eel

    moire_eel "Second Molt, A Success"

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    I think he was talking about the rhyme in his post! [​IMG]

    I agree that crabs that are greenish or striped-looking sound most likely to be Ruggies (Coenobita rugosus). Generally, it's tricky to go by color alone -- even purple pinchers can be tan or orange. Here's a link to Crab Street Journal, which has a large picture archive sorted by species. Unfortunately, there is so much variation within most species that until you get used to looking for the specific traits that distinguish them, it can be confusing!

    http://www.crabstreetjournal.com/modules.php?name=Species

    On the re-arrangements -- 18 in a 10 gallon sounds pretty cramped, so I'd definitely move them to the 30 and iso the newbies in the smaller tank, assuming that you can do so without disturbing molters. I've isoed as many as 11 crabs (mostly small) in a 10 gallon, and it's not too bad, especially as it's likely that at least half will bury.

    LOL, sounds like you've definitely caught the hermit crab bug. I bought three large purple pinchers today myself. I had been hoping to find Es, but when I saw these three, who were healthy-looking and active but in desparate need of better-fitting shells, I couldn't resist. One is so dark he looks black -- very pretty.
     
  6. hermom

    hermom "Never Molted"

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    Thanks - I checked out that site & even printed some that seem similar, but keep coming up with the same question - are there different sub-species of Ruggies & Indies? The unidentified fellows are just so unique. Are you familiar with coconuts? (The pure green fellow).

    Actually, the original colony of 18 has been together for some time, and none are as large as the newbies. They are quite at home in their 10-gal tank, and live together well.
    Bear in mind that just 1 of these new guys equal 2-3 of my colony size-wise, and you see my concern. The new tank will have terraces amongst other things (they love the ornaments and lighting!) and hopefully fit the whole family, leaving the 10 gal. for an iso (as well as 6 other iso's - lot of food & water dishes!)
    Yes, I was bitten by the claw on first sight last year. Rather than making an impulse purchase, I spent 3 mos., 6 hr/day researching hermies before I bought my first colony. Never regretted it since, especially since I've met the nicest people.
    How I envy you on bringing home PPer's! They are absolute sweethearts, and unavailable in this area now. Would you like 10 jumbo E's?
    [​IMG]
    hermom
     
  7. moire_eel

    moire_eel "Second Molt, A Success"

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    Coconuts? Do you mean robber crabs -- Birgus latro? I've seen pictures of them.

    There aren't sub-species of ruggies or indos, but ruggies in particular have a lot of color variation. The easiest way to recognize a ruggie is by the flattened back walking leg and the striping on the eyestalks, I think. I've never been good at seeing the stitches on the claw, but ruggies do usually have a two-tone claw, if that helps any. I've never had trouble with ID-ing Indos -- they have perfectly cylindrical eyestalks, and perfectly round little eyes on the end.

    If you can post pictures, we may be able to ID from those. I love playing the "ID that crab" game. [​IMG]

    I didn't realize there were places where purple pinchers were hard to come by! I agree they're wonderful crabs, and some of my favorites, so I feel lucky that I can find them easily. Most of mine are quite active and fun to watch. I would love 10 jumbo Es, though! [​IMG] But now with these three new large crabs I don't really have room for quite that many. So maybe just 5. [​IMG]
     
  8. Pharmoc

    Pharmoc (Micro Crab)

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    PP's are the only species of crab that i can find , and im desperate to get more , i would love to have E's but there's nowhere to get them around here !
    Im wary about ordering online and having them delivered just incase they dont make it and i dont wanna put them through any unessacary stress.
    Will just have to keep looking .
     
  9. crazeecrabber103

    crazeecrabber103 (Small Crab)

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    I love my PPs but I would love to get some Es...or ruggies...or any other species.[​IMG] The only species I've seen besides PPs were big, beautiful Straws at a Petco a while ago. I had just started crabbing and didn't feel ready to take care of them (and I still don't feel ready now! lol). I stopped seeing them around here though. [​IMG]
     
  10. hermom

    hermom "Never Molted"

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    Unfortunately you are far away, and I have never shipped hermies. All I can say is that the E's are more from the Pacific coast and the PPer's from the Atlantic/Caribbean. I guess it's a matter of your closest supplier. [​IMG]
     
  11. hermom

    hermom "Never Molted"

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    What is meant by the term "stitches"?
    And Pharmoc, I respect your opinion on not buying hermies on-line, for many reasons. But you must realize that any hermie that gets to your local supplier (I get to pick mine myself the day they arrive), they must have undergone shipping to get to wherever they are. Even in my guys' case, they go into iso and mega-feeding, waters, & sub. to destress.
     
  12. hermom

    hermom "Never Molted"

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    [​IMG]If you've been crabbing for a while and have done your research, don't be afraid of tackling something new! PPer's were my first colony, and in comparison with other species, have found them to be gentle, resilient and personable kritters.
    If the size intimidates you..just give him the rest time he needs before trying to socialize. An example - I brought home 10 jumbo e's on Sat., and while choosing the largest (jumbo), told my friend I was afraid of him, knowing what damage he could do with his pinchers. I couldn't have been more wrong. Sun. I decided to face my fears, and after a bath (he stunk from crud in his shell), settled into my palm for a humungous feed without grabbing on once.
    Go for it, if you get the chance! At least you can provide them a better home.
    Good luck.
    ()
    PS - haven't learned how to direct messages yet, but this was to crazeecrabber from hermom.
    Sorry!
     
  13. crazeecrabber103

    crazeecrabber103 (Small Crab)

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    Hermom-

    The 'stitches' are pronounced lines that can be found on the BPs of certain species. I'll try to find a picture.

    I've been crabbing for about 10 months now, and I'd like to wait until I have all the right resources (larger tank, large salt water ponds, etc.) before taking on Straws. I do look forward to caring for them in the future though, because they're so beautiful and seem to have great personalities.

    The thing that worries me most about big crabs is how old and delicate they are. I just want to stick to the little ones for now. lol

    And if you're talking about sending a pm(personal message), you can just left click on the name of whoever you want to send it to and select 'Invite _____ to a private topic'.
     
  14. crazeecrabber103

    crazeecrabber103 (Small Crab)

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    Go here and scroll down to the picture of Wink, the one-eyed ruggie. If you look at his big pincher, you can very clearly see raised ridges, or lines. Those are the stitches. [​IMG]
     
  15. hermom

    hermom "Never Molted"

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    [​IMG]Now that my new colony of 10 (E's, ruggies, whatever!) have now settled into the 10 gal. iso. and have picked their spots, I can't help but chuckle whenever I come close to the tank and see 20 eyeballs peering at me from under the surface. Not scattering any more, but not missing anything either!
    The intelligence of these creatures is remarkable.
     
  16. moire_eel

    moire_eel "Second Molt, A Success"

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    Oh, I wasn't seriously requesting that you send me 5 hermit crabs! It was just one of those "I wish" statements. Supposedly Es are more commonly found at independently owned pet stores, but around here even those places carry PPs, though some will tell me they used to have Es and weren't happy with the survival rates (probably because they didn't know to offer saltwater). I'll be going to Florida next week to visit my folks, and will check the pet stores there ... I have already checked with the airline to sure that I will be able to bring the crabs back on my flight if I find some!
     
  17. hermom

    hermom "Never Molted"

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    I originally heard the myth about the survival rate of E's compared to others (i.e. PPer's) and can say that in my experience with both, the majority of E's adapt very well to proper conditions - o/w, how could they grow to be so large? Perhaps longevity could be debated, knowing of Kate and J.L. both being PPer's and holding the record in captivity.
    Which coast of Florida are your parents on? This may have some bearing on what species you find. And would love to know any stipulations by airlines on transporting hermies, as I am planning a trip to Panama for the main purpose of studying hermies, and of course! will want to bring some home. I realize I will have Customs to deal with, but the airlines' restrictions are definately important. Personally, I feel that you doing the transporting yourself is a far more humane way than is involved in any pet shop. Especially if you have time to de-stress them while there.
    Please keep us posted if you can access a 'puter while there...I'm dying to know!
    All the best,
    hermom & kritters
     
  18. moire_eel

    moire_eel "Second Molt, A Success"

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    Yep, I've heard that many people have had good luck with Es if they get some that aren't too far gone from mistreatment before purchase. I have two Es now, that I ordered from http://eastbayvivarium.com, and they are doing very well. Both are very small, and very active. All the Es I have had in the past have been poorly treated -- some were shipped in an overheated box, others were kept at a store for who knows how long with no salt water. I am hoping to find them some equally healthy friends!

    My parents live in Tallahassee, which is in north Florida, closer to the Gulf Coast. I don't know of any crabbers in that area, so I can only guess at my chances of finding Es. My husband thinks I shouldn't bring crabs on a plane: his reasoning is that Pilot Precise pens (the kind we like to use) invariably start leaking due to the pressure changes if you fly with them, and crabs are a lot more like these pens than we are. LOL! I asked him, how do you think my crabs from EBV got here? And they are doing fine!

    On the airlines -- I'm flying Delta, and they don't list hermit crabs anywhere on their flying-with-pets regulations, so I had to call. It could have gone either way -- what's allowed in the cabin seems to have a lot to do with what would be deemed "creepy" to other passengers if it got loose. So even if you get the okay from the airline, showing up with the crabs in a very secure-looking container is going to make things go better. They also suggested I have a bag or something to put the container in, so that it wouldn't be readily apparent to the other passengers that I had live critters with me. I got the feeling that the person I talked to made a judgement call, and there's nothing set in stone about hermit crabs one way or the other. I know that Southwest Airlines forbids pets of all types on their flights, but I doubt they fly to Panama anyhow.

    As far as collecting crabs in Panama, I'd look into licensing and such if I were you. I know that some states require licenses for crayfishing, and I wouldn't be surprised if the same could be required to collecting hermit crabs, especially when you plan to cross national boundaries with them. It may be a matter of just doing the right paperwork before you go, so you can have it in hand at the airport.
     
  19. hermom

    hermom "Never Molted"

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    I only wish I could refer back to your message as I try to respond! Well, here goes my memory - if your folks are more on the Gulf coast (which is far more feasible for E's, as opposed to the Atlantic,) as I believe and understand species can migrate quite far - and let's face it, you're not that far from the Pacific - that's why I chose Panama, with only a 20-mi. difference between the two oceans; what's to stop you from doing some crabbing on your own, as you know the species you want and the environment to look for? No offense to your hubby, but you do have an argument, especially if you can eliminate the stress stage of initial capture straight into destress. I don't think a couple hrs. of shipping would create additional stress, under your supervision.
    Did you have any ideas - i.e. KKer, insulated food containers, insulated carry-on bag for transporting home? I'd suggest that a piece of fresh, moist moss would provide the safety and food/water needs for that length of trip, for what it's worth. Less weight than sub., as well.
    I know I've got a pile of red tape to cut to achieve my dream, but appreciate all advice along the way.
    Thanks,
    hermom
     
  20. hermom

    hermom "Never Molted"

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    Just an afterthought...is it likely that a good layer of bubble-wrap would decrease the effects of compression/decompression? I know that my hermies are shipped, wrapped in it.
     
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