When it comes to the crab species, you may get confused in the various types around the world that walk around the shores of earth. This is because there are nearly 850 crab species which are freshwater based, terrestrial or semi-terrestrial species. These species of crabs are found in all tropical and semi-tropical regions of the planet. Two main types to discuss here are the fiddler and hermit crabs. To see the difference between these two types of crabs species, read the guide below.


Fiddler Crabs fiddler crabs and hermit crabs

The fiddler crab is a small, semi-terrestrial crab that belongs to the genus Uca. The name “fiddler” is ascribed to these species due to the feeding of the males, where they use the movement of the small claw to the ground and then its mouth, resembling that of someone moving a bow across a fiddle. There are over 90 species of the fiddler crab, including subspecies, that are found in a variety of locations. The males and the females are easily distinguished as the females have very small claws and the male have one larger and distinct claw. The largest fiddler crabs mature up to to the size of 2-inches across the body.



Fiddler crabs are mainly found around ocean beaches, that pertain to the inter0tidal zones, and they retreat to the muddy burrows when the tides go out. Some species are found in brackish water swamps. The fiddler crabs are mostly scavengers and feed on organic matter found on rocks and mud.

Fiddler crabs can be kept as pets but require salt water to live in, along with access to air and dry land. Pet stores will keep fiddler crabs in an aquatic freshwater set up and ask the buyers to keep them the same way. Putting aquarium salt in water may be good as well, with an ideal amount being 1.005 – 1.010. Set the water temperature to 24-29 degrees Celsius for the crabs.



Hermit Crabs fiddler crabs and hermit crabs

A hermit crab is a small crustacean that are social and ideal pets. They come in over a 1000 species, with similar asymmetrical abdomens which are concealed in scavenged shells. Hermit crabs have soft abdomens which is protected by a large and thick shell on its back, and this shell is not their own, but a shell which belongs to another animal. They replace shells as they grow larger. Their claws are small and bent. They climb and crawl around on their own and make a great first-pet for children. The main problem in keeping them is that they require a lot of detail and care in their habitats. Firstly, they need to be kept in groups, rather than keeping one. They cannot survive in water, yet need a water surrounding to remain wet. They need sufficient humidity as well.


Mainly, their habitat needs to be a large aquarium tank with wet sand, with some air vents, and a small water pool. The water should have safe sea salt, and the aquarium must contain a water dish and huts for the crabs to relax in during the day. The humidity level should be at least 75% and temperature of 24-27 degrees Celsius in the tank for the crabs to survive in.


The hermit crab eats a variety of foods – from meats to fruits and vegetables. The foods must be preservative free and fresh. They mainly need calcium for growth, which can be provided with cuttlebones that are available in pet stores in the bird food sections. The hermit crabs need two bowls of water: one with freshwater, and the other with salt water. Place a piece of rock in its center for the crab to sit on and enjoy as they crawl in the bowls to sip some of the water and not drown into it.


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