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What do you do when you find a hermit crab in your shells?

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Massachusetts
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What do you do when you find a hermit crab in your shells?

This has happened to me before, but yesterday was the worst. I was out on the mud flats at low tide yesterday early evening. I picked up several kings crown conchs that appeared unoccupied- and I swear I looked hard. But when I got home and started submerging the shells in water, hermit crabs came out or peeped out of about 5 of them. I took them down to the beach by my condo, but it is gulf side, and I don't know if they will survive. What is the best way to save hermit crabs you accidentally bring home?

UK
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11. Re: What do you do when you find a hermit crab in your shells?

I see no problem taking unoccupied ie Not live shells. And I am a biologist. In the storms and waves they will end up as part of the beach as they break up.

Should you take any live ones home (ie not live with the original occupants- these are fairly easy to tell and should be left) but ones with hermit crabs-either take them back or if they leave their shells, give them an appropriate size shell you don't want and then return them. It is best to not take these either but in the case of newly occupied shells and the creature is small it is not always evident there is an occupant in place. It was my understanding this is the case described by the OP.

I suppose Adrian will ridicule me for collecting sharks teeth (whose original owners died many thousands and even millions of years ago???)? We really don't need any more bullies like him, and we dont need old posts being pulled up for lecturing. We do ALWAYs say here to live shells unmollested. As is the law.

Inman, SC
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12. Re: What do you do when you find a hermit crab in your shells?

Adrian P: Suffice it to say, I was a little surprised by your comment to a post so old. I join MK in my confusion as to how and why you searched out a thread this old and chose me as a target. I think most of the frequent contributors and DE's on this forum know by now how much I love Sanibel Island and that I do not abuse the privilege of enjoying its natural beauty. That includes shell collecting. I do not make a habit of taking live shells, even tho I will admit to having taken a few inhabitants home with me unknowingly. I think most are guilty of that. To say that I was sorry you were angered by my previous post would be less than truthful and would indicate that I (in some way) care about your opinion of me. There are many folks on this forum I would not want to offend. You, however, are not one of them.

Sanibel Island...
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13. Re: What do you do when you find a hermit crab in your shells?

Ok wow no need for a personal attack here.

Heres the deal you should not take live shells.

To say not to take shells period is just (pick a word if I do it will definately violate).

As far as the hermit crab try you best to convince it to move on to another shell if not toss it back.

Just my 2

S.C

Massachusetts
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14. Re: What do you do when you find a hermit crab in your shells?

Hot, I am so sorry you got attacked on a thread I started. If Mr. Self-righteous had read carefully, he would have realized that we were talking about shells we took home without realizing they had a crab in them- " I swear I looked hard" . Hermit crabs can hide really well when they are in a large shell for their size, so you don't know they are there until you get the shells home.

We all love you, Hot.

Ironically, all of us serious shellers on Sanibel spend time telling casual visitors that they cannot legally take live shells . I'm sure I've saved many hermit crabs and original occupants lives- far far more than the few hermies that I unintentionally brought back to my condo and returned to the beach as soon as I saw them.

The Bakery
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15. Re: What do you do when you find a hermit crab in your shells?

Winifred, those of us who have been posting here for years and shell collecting for decades - back before the 'no live shelling' rules, know how hard it is to find a well hidden hermit crab - or even live critter still 'at home'.

I was shelling at Lighthouse Beach one morning after a storm in December and it was a treasure trove of shells. I was standing in the water, shelling along the surf line and picked up a beautiful 5" orange tulip. It was a beauty. It was also alive. I let everyone admire it, then thew him back. I thought the guy next to me was going to try and go after it. You don't often see a shell like that, especially the spectacular color.

At the time, I could have kept it, you were allowed 3 live shells. I chose not to. Not because I'm a saint, it just didn't feel right to me.

Like you, I've reminded many people not to take live shells, especially after a storm has blown up a lot of fighting conchs. This one guy started yelling at me and I reminded him of the fines - per shell and he literally ran for it and took off in his car. A lot of other shellers started putting live critters back. That man probably had 20 or more live conchs, and because he did, it spread like a virus. I've gotten more than for few dirty looks, as I'm sure you have too.

I know the Sanibel regulars are very sensitive to live shell rules. I think Ken had it right. Someone just wants to pick a silly squabble. Ignore it. Better still, consider the source, THEN ignore it!

Tour

Boston...
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16. Re: What do you do when you find a hermit crab in your shells?

It's too bad that they can't enforce the rule about live shells to stop people like that guy...but I know it would be impossible to police every part of the beach 24/7

Hell, Michigan
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17. Re: What do you do when you find a hermit crab in your shells?

I'd hate to see the beaches become a police state - it'd be nice if people could respect the sea life and educate themselves in what is needed to have a healthy beach and ocean.

Boston...
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18. Re: What do you do when you find a hermit crab in your shells?

So true, sunny.....I think most people do....but there are always the few nitwits.

I guess all anyone can do is speak up to them... I myself never have a problem doing that

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19. Re: What do you do when you find a hermit crab in your shells?

I would either replace it or give them a nice home with a lot of space. I would recommend a cage with wiring on it if you are going for a cage. Hermit crabs do need exercise believe it or not. If they do not get enough exercise they die considerably faster. Always have a sponge and food in the cage. Then the crabs will live happily.

20. Re: What do you do when you find a hermit crab in your shells?

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Removed on: 9:35 pm, May 30, 2014