Hermit Crabs

Hermit Crabs are  OUT  OF  STOCK !!!

Shells & salt available:    insectopia@online.ms

Australian Land Hermit Crabs

 Coenobita variabilis, McCulloch, 1909

Australian Land Hermit Crab, Coenobita variabilis

For species info, please see further down the page.

Hermie Large $12.50
Hermie XL $20.00
Hermit Crab Salt, 100g: $6.00
Hermit Crab Salt, 200g: $12.00
Hermit Crab Salt, 400g: $20.00
2 Hermie Shells $6.00
4 Hermie Shells $10.00
6 Hermie Shells $15.00
100g Salt + 2 Shells $12.00
200g Salt + 4 Shells $20.00
200g Salt + 6 Shells $25.00

Crab Set L:
3 large Hermies, 100g Crab Salt, 4 crab shells: $50.00

Crab Set XL:
3 XL Hermies, 100g Crab Salt, 4 crab shells: $75.00

Express shipping & packaging up to 500g : $15 Australia wide
Equipment/accessory alone up to 500g: $8.25 (500g satchel)
If paying via PayPal a $2 surcharge applies, no fees on Bank Transfer.
For bank details,  in case you wish to purchase a combination that is not listed, to inquire for availability and all other inquiries please email: insectopia@online.ms or use our contact form.


AU Hermit Crabs

Hermit Crab Aaccessory

Natural Australian Habitat Land Hermit Crab (Coenobita variabilis)

Natural Habitat

Australian Land Hermit Crab tracks (Coenobita variabilis)



The Australian land hermit crab is endemic to the northern parts of Australia (northern Western Australia, Northern Territory and northern Queensland).  They are found in mangroves, sandy and rocky beaches.  Terrestrial hermit crabs are able to spend most of their life on land as they possess large gill chambers which act as lungs as long as the crab is able to keep their gill filaments moist.  Australian land crabs will reach a carapace length of 40mm and they can live well over 10 and up to 20 years.  The animals live in large groups and should not be kept alone.


Plan ahead.  An aquarium is probably ideal.  A critter keeper won’t do.  Offer as much room as you can.  Your crabs will be thankful.  They love to walk around and to climb.  It is a good idea to create an area for hiding/sleeping, an area for exercise and an area for bathing/drinking.  Build a “Crabitat” and receive healthy, active, happy Hermies for many years to come.

For substrate use play sand.  You can buy a big bag of clean play sand for children rather cheap.  Fill the enclosure about 5-10 cm deep with sand.  Then look for rocks and sleigh, clean those with a brush (no cleaner) and try to create a rocky “shore” with a cave or a slate terrace or…   Hermies  like to rest in crevices in the moist sand and while they are active they will love to explore and exercise.  You can place their food every day on a different spot to make it a bit of a challenge to find it and watch how they behave naturally.

Keep the sand moist (but not wet).  Depending on your location you might also need to mist spray the enclosure regularly (aim to provide 75-80% humidity). Temperatures between 20-30oC will be suitable, cool on the bottom of the enclosure and 24-29 oC on the surface will be best. If you need to boost temperatures we recommend using a heat lamp (rather than using a heat mat) as the hermit crabs dig down if they want to escape the heat.  In their natural environment cool is down and hot is up.

We do not recommend critter keepers, colored sand or gravel,  painted shells, shallow dishes, sponges or painted coconut housing…  nor the use of a heat mat.

Food & Water:

Hermit crabs don’t drink salt water but fresh water.  But they need salt water for their gills.  You will thus need to provide 2 containers with water.  Please don’t use use metal containers and don’t use shallow containers.  The crabs should be able to fully immerse.  Place a rock in each container so that the crabs can climb in and out.   Also use only good rain water or aged tap water as chlorine is harmful to Hermies.  Fill one container with sea water (or freshwater plus hermit crab salt) and one container with fresh water.  Please clean and refill these 2 containers regularly.

In the wild Hermit Crabs are scavengers and they are omnivorous which means they will eat (and need) both, meat (for example a prawn or fish flakes/pellets) and plant material (steamed vegetables, lettuces, grass, fruit, oats…) to thrive.  Supplements:  Sepia shell.  Avoid exposure to chemicals (preservatives, household cleaners, insecticides…) or soap!

Growth & Shells:

The abdomen of a Hermit Crab is very soft and vulnerable as it is not covered by shell.  Hermit crabs rely on the use of shells that were produced by other animals for protection. The crab will need a slightly bigger shell each time it grows.  Hermit crabs grow about 3-5mm per year, shedding their skin every summer.  During this time they are very vulnerable and will bury themselves in the moist sand. It can take up to 10 days for the new exoskeleton to harden.  If you are “missing” a crab don’t dig up the sand as he might be in this stage and such disturbance could be fatal.  Their preferred seashells include Babylonia, Nerita, Phasianella, Thais, Tonna and Turban seashells. They are also fond of several varieties of land snail shells such as Aratan snail and rice snail.  Always keep several shells in the enclosure for the crabs to try on and choose when they need/wish to.  We only use natural shell.

Australian Land Hermit Crab (Coenobita variabilis), example housing

Example Hermie Housing

Anatomy Land Hermit Crab