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How Long Do Hermit Crabs Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 10-30 Years

Hermit crabs are Paguroidea that adapt the empty shells to protect the empty exoskeletons that are fragile. Hermit crabs occupy the shelter of other organisms or risk their life by being defenseless. The association of hermit crabs and their shelter influences the kind of biology they are in. Due to the adaptation, they carry mobile shelters of other organisms.

This protective mobility contributes to the diversity of the animal. They develop by the process of metamorphosis, free-swimming larvae, dwelling, or shell-seeking crabs. The process of taking other organisms’ shelter is responsible for the animal’s tough nature and sheltered lifestyle. The long, spirally curved abdomen is soft and is responsible for their vulnerable abdomen. Most of these take the shelter of snails as the tip of hermit crabs can clap on the columella of the snail shells.

How Long Do Hermit Crabs Live?

TimeLife Expectancy
Maximum30 Years
Average3-15 Years

Hermit crabs have a life expectancy of 3-15 years. They can however live up to 30 years also. They need shelter to protect their delicate bodies from the weather, other animals, and the environment. A small hermit crab can be an entertaining pet because of its entertaining crawling habits. But they come with a lifelong commitment. The hermit crabs life span is directly proportional to the amount of time and care they are getting.

The more care, attention, and love they get the better the life expectancy is. But the owners of hermit crabs often fail to give proper conditions to the crab. The tendency to buy hermit crabs is really impatient but the lack of research and care can result in their death. Hermit crabs never breed in captivity. In fact, the ones sold at the pet shop are wild-caught hermit crabs. The hermit crabs have no specific care requirements.

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The shells from the snail provide the hermit crabs’ microhabitat that protects them from any physical damage or dehydration. Due to the lack of lungs, hermit crabs are constantly dependent on moist, humid air to breathe. A healthy diet is very important for the living of a hermit crab. Giving them food corresponding to the natural habitat is the most suitable option for long life expectancy. Hermit carbs hide to protect themselves from heat and stressful times.

If you are petting a hermit crab, it is important that the substrate is deep enough that they burrow themselves in it. A hermit crab living alone can die because of the loneliness that results in stress, anxiety, depression, and other diseases.

Why Do Hermit Crabs Live This Long?

Hermit crabs are adaptative environments. They are in constant need to get of shelter or a shell to protect their bodies. If they get the shell they are protected and if not then the physical environment can damage them completely. The hermit crab is a crustacean. The hermit crab also needs to change its exo-skeleton. Every time the skin outgrows the crab need to shed its outer cover and find a bigger shell.

They are on a constant hunt for the perfect shell that suits their body. And in that search, they might lose the previous shell. Ranging from a size of 1/2 to 4 inches the hermit crabs feed mostly on plants and meat. They also play an important role in cleaning the natural ecosystems by consuming plankton, algae, and dead fish. Hermit crabs take birth in the water and return to the sea frequently.

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One species of hermit crabs called Coenobita Brevimanus can have a life expectancy of even 70 years. The long-armed stripe-colored hermit crabs are the most common species of hermit crabs. Creating a stress-free environment is important for the long life of hermit crabs.


Hermit crabs can have a life expectancy of 10-30 years. However, the pet hermit crabs live for a short duration like 2-4 years. The lack of care is responsible for the death of hermit crabs. Hermit crabs are in constant search of a shell to protect themselves from the rough physical conditions. It is important that proper care and nutrition are given to the hermit crabs if one pets them. The longer the life, means that they will have more chance of cycle, wherein they will grow and find new shells.


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