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How do I know if my crab is molting?

Discussion in 'Frequently Asked Questions' started by vckums, Jan 29, 2006.

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  1. vckums

    vckums Moderator

    Dec 20, 2005
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    Here are the more common pre-molt indicators: These are most successfully used the longer you have had your crab and come to know HIS behaviors...

    Physical Signs:

    1. gel limb development
    2. Visible molt sac (on the left side where the shield meets the abdomen)
    3. Peeling skin on eye stalks, cloudy eyes
    4. Fading color on pinchers and shield, legs sometimes peel
    5. Loss of "hair" on legs, nail tips dull down or break off (this occurs over time too)

    Behavioral Signs:

    1. Intensely higher interest in food and water, will forage all day/night.
    2. Extraordinary interest in shells, both unoccupied, and occupied
    (shell fights)
    **3. Extreme territorial displays, waving claws, thumping, punching other crabs when they come near. (This behavior also occurs normally, just less frequently and intensely)
    4. Aggressiveness, throwing other crabs on their backs (shell fighting does not really belong in this class, it is a typical behavior, and part of natural competition), that said, more shell fighting occurs at this time
    5. any behavior that is not the typical "norm" for the specific crab in question (getting to know you crabs through observation and handling help here)

    I have many crabs that I have had for years. This has really been a help because you get to know your individual crab’s personalities a little better. Then when they act weird you can tell the difference between an environmental issue such as heat and humidity, or a possible molt.

    Information Provided by:
    Coenobita Research
  2. Jedi_sena

    Jedi_sena Guest

    Right before my crab pulled a surprise surface molt, I noticed that his claws looked crusty white like he had dried oatmeal smeared on him and he was very inactive.

    When a crab has recently molted, he will have tiny black points on his legs. These points wear down or wear away between molts. If he still has these needle-like points (I call them fingernails), then it may be a while before you can expect another molt.

    Often crabs molt in groups (mass molt) or one right after another (cascade molt or domino molt). So if one molts, others may too.
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