Sad Day, found dead hermit with worms/bugs in its shell

For the discussion of any creepy crawlies that may have taken up residence in your tank, including mites. Please note that isopods have their own forum.
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Sad Day, found dead hermit with worms/bugs in its shell

Post by Kittycat203 » Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:14 pm

I'm new to taking care of hermit crabs but I do know to watch the humidity, I keep their food fresh and interesting (and appropriate), I make sure they have salt and fresh water at all times (changed every 3 days), and I make sure their habitat is fun and easy for them to explore. I'll post images of the tank and please let me know if I've made some huge mistake in how its set up.
Edit: I posted the link to an imgur account I set up for this. My pictures wouldn't upload :(

the question/concern:
Today, one of the hermit crabs passed away. Being curious as to what could have caused its death I took a closer look and found small worm/larvae type things on the crab and in its shell. They don't appear to be alive and may have passed along with the crab.

I'm curious/worried about what they are. Could they be harmful to the other hermit crabs in the tank?

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Re: Sad Day, found dead hermit with worms/bugs in its shell

Post by CombatMist » Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:33 pm

Hi and welcome. Sorry for your loss
The picture isn't so much worms. It's an insect.

Have you looked at the bugs category info sheets?

There are pics of common insects found. Your pic has no size reference. Cant tell how big they are. See if they are parasite mites. They live on the crab, are not good for them and the crab cant remove them.

Could be insect eating an already dead crab. Insect could have gotten in crabitat through many means. Substrate, food, shells, on crabs, holes in lid, ect. You change food often which should help reduce insects looking for food.

I check my crabitat in the mornings. If humidity is over 80% and/or mist on glass i remove lid say 30 mins to let humidity drop to say 70%. Gives fresh air.

Higher temp and humidity means more mold and fungus and decay. Good to change food as needed if you see mold or smell decaying food. The crabs are scavengers and it's not as bad for them to eat decaying food but I'd rather give them good food and not have a mild issue. I change food about 2x week. Depends on the food. Wet food like a fresh tomato slice I will remove after 1-2 days. Dry food could stay longer.

I've only had a few nats. After airing tank our regularly and changing food more they went away.

Good luck
Craber since (december 2019)
5 pps, 1 successful molt 🥳
20 gallon long

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