The molting smell

This forum is where you discuss issues relating to molting hermit crabs, including pre- and post-molting issues. If you are having a molting emergency please post in the Emergency Forum.

How many smell the molting smell when their crabs molt?

I always smell the molting smell
I sometimes smell the molting smell
I never smell the molting smell
Total votes: 23

Topic author

The molting smell

Post by Guest » Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:36 am

I usually smell the molting smell when my crabs molt, and I was wondering if anyone else did too.

It's great when I smell it because then depending on a crab's size I have an idea when he'll resurface, and it's always pretty close to my estimation.

As a matter of fact I smelled it today, but I have most of my crabs molting so it could be anyone.

I'd also be intersted if anyone felt like one species had a stronger molting smell than another. When my little E, Yacko molted it was so strong that I thought how could such a little E give off such a strong smell? May be he was just closer to the surface or something.

EDIT: Sorry about the double post, I got page cannot be displayed for a moment and hit refresh and ended up with two. Someone please delete this one.

Topic author

Post by Guest » Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:58 am

I have jungle fiber, so I have never gotten the molting smell :(

Topic author

Post by Guest » Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:27 pm

I haven't had any of my Es molt with me yet, because they're relatively new, but I definately noticed a molting smell with my PPs. Bruce, the one who had to regrow limbs, was especially powerful. I wonder if his needing to regenerate limbs had anything to do with why the smell was so strong.

Topic author

Post by hermiegirl » Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:15 pm

Prolly not. I had 4 crab regen limbs with me, all had surface molts, and none smelled whatsoever. :) Well, least two didn't til they died. Dunno what causes it, but a gel limb doesn't smell at all.

Topic author

Post by Guest » Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:46 am

What does it smell like? b/c I THINK I smelled the molt smell.... but I'm not sure. does it smell somewhat like paint or chemicals?

Topic author

Post by Guest » Mon Mar 20, 2006 12:47 pm

Yes, it's a medicinal smell, like Iodine kind of.

Topic author

Post by Guest » Mon Mar 20, 2006 9:50 pm

I think I smelled it! boy, I always wondered what it was like.

Topic author

Post by Willow » Tue Mar 21, 2006 11:20 pm

I never really smelled it before, but I just got 5 new teeny baby Es, and I smelled something in the iso tank. All of them had buried as soon as I put them in the tank (maybe they were up for 5 minutes!). I'm not sure if I'll be able to tell if one moulted or not; they're all so tiny. But I did smell something like iodine.

Topic author

Post by Guest » Tue Mar 21, 2006 11:54 pm

I smelled it with all three of my molts. They were PPs and it was a strong smell. It was comforting because I knew they were alive even though I couldn't see them.

Topic author

Post by Guest » Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:17 pm

I had to share this...I put Alligator in the molting tank yesterday and went to check on him a couple hours later. I got a big whiff of the molting smell. I thought "Nah, he wouldn't have started that fast, the sand just must be dusty." Sure enough today I looked again and the smell was stronger, he surface molted.

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Post by Mokulele_Hawai'i » Fri Apr 21, 2006 5:44 pm

I always sniff a sluggish-looking crab. If it smells like a boiled crab/prawn, then I quarantine such crab in separate container.
After that, the crab will dig a burrow and molt within 2 up to 4 days later.
Hermit crab lover since 1981
Founder of "Blueberry land hermit crab" - common name for Coenobita purpureus, and "Zebra Sunset land hermit crab" for a new subspecies of Coenobita violascens

Topic author

Post by Guest » Fri Apr 21, 2006 6:05 pm

it smells musty to me...

Topic author

Post by Guest » Wed Apr 26, 2006 1:34 pm

My first molt I didn't smell anything. Maybe because I use ee and she was burried. I currently have Nevel molting and accidently dug him up and he does have a smell. It reminds me of the smell of lightning bugs when I was a child. Does that make sense to anyone? No I'm not crazy. LOL

Anyone want to offer advice or want more info on my molting mistake please check my post in the molting threads.

OH Crabber, you said you are good at guessing how long before your crabs on up when you smell... Nevel smells... he has eaten all but his face, legs and BP exo when do you think he'll be up? I am a bit worried because I dug him up. [smilie=banghead.gif] stupid mistake...
Last edited by Guest on Wed Apr 26, 2006 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Topic author

Post by Guest » Wed Apr 26, 2006 2:12 pm

What size is he?

I've dug up molters twice, once the Rug was partway through with the exo, the other time was even more dangerous, I recently dug up my mirco and she molted within the next hour, both times they were fine.

In my experience, the parts you mentioned are eaten first, usually within the first few days, then what's left they kind of lose interst in and may be snack on here or there, and often don't even finish. After eating those other parts, they seem to really just rest for a few days, and lesurely and slowley eat what's left over that time peroid, very often leaving tips, or a leg.

It sounds to me (you never know about these things) that what I described, the resting peroid, is what your little guy is in right now. If it were me, I'd feel pretty confident that he was going to be fine. :)

Topic author

Post by Guest » Wed Apr 26, 2006 2:21 pm

Thanks for the info and support Crabber. You've given great advice in the past and I was hoping you'd comment.

He is a small. Close to being a medium. His shell is a 1/2" opening.

I am keeping positive about it. My three seem like tough little cookies.

I just wonder when I am out of the woods and can breathe. [smilie=worry.gif] I guess when he is back to normal color?

Other nice thing about my guys is that so far with the molts no one bugs molters. They even seem to go out of their norm to give them space... I think I have a good group.