Fight? Stalemate? Should I interfere?

Where we discuss the behavior of our hermit crabs, as in fights, pecking orders, shell swaps, etc. Please post all naked-crab posts in the Emergency forum.
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hprmom
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Fight? Stalemate? Should I interfere?

Post by hprmom » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:18 am

My son noticed one of our big guys, Junior, actively grappling with another crab this morning, grabbing the shell from behind. A minute later they both fell backwards into a rock dish. They haven't moved in over half an hour. I'm concerned because Junior has outgrown the apple murex he has been wearing for a whole year now, but has not changed shells. On the other hand both crabs seem frozen in place and I don't want to disrupt if this is normal behavior or some pecking order thing they will work out themselves. Should I break them up?

Pics attached. Junior is in the murex, the other crab in a banded turbo.
ImageImage
Meanwhile I'm pulling out extra shells from my stash (there are already close to 30 shells available), and keeping an eye on them. If it starts to look violent I'll do something.

Update: at 45 minutes, both seem to have relaxed their posture but whenever banded turbo tries to move, Junior renews his grip. Image


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Re: Fight? Stalemate? Should I interfere?

Post by hprmom » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:58 pm

Going on 3.5 hours now. Should I move my topic to the health and breeding section?!


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Re: Fight? Stalemate? Should I interfere?

Post by wodesorel » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:14 pm

It could very well be guarding behaviour, but it could also be the one on top wants the shell of the one on the bottom. I don't think it's going to turn violent, but keep an eye on them for a bit longer. They're in a tight spot so it's hard to judge which it is.

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Fight? Stalemate? Should I interfere?

Post by hprmom » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:37 pm

Thanks, @wode. It's been nearly 7 hours now! A couple of times I thought Junior was rocking the other shell, but they could also just have been shifting. If they're still like this when I go to bed is it okay to leave them? I've been checking in every hour or so but wonder about leaving them overnight. I have extra shells prepped I could toss in there in case that's the problem, but they're near the shell shop, don't know what they'll do if I stick my hand in there!
wodesorel wrote:It could very well be guarding behaviour, but it could also be the one on top wants the shell of the one on the bottom. I don't think it's going to turn violent, but keep an eye on them for a bit longer. They're in a tight spot so it's hard to judge which it is.

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Re: Fight? Stalemate? Should I interfere?

Post by hprmom » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:52 pm

Stuck my hand in to take a pic and they were looking pretty chill:
Image
So I quickly placed the new shells, but the noise scared the crab on the bottom and it tried to scramble away. Junior's a cool customer and usually doesn't run when I place food, etc. He wouldn't let the other crab get away. Now they're turned behind decor where I can only see the back of Junior's shell. I can't see what's happening but it looks like the other crab fell into a wallow with Junior behind. Both crabs holding still as far as I can tell.


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Re: Fight? Stalemate? Should I interfere?

Post by wodesorel » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:47 pm

If it's lasted this long I would go with guarding behaviour. wolfnipplechips saw it happen before copulation for a few days straight. I've only had it happen after copulation and it lasted about half a day.

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Re: Fight? Stalemate? Should I interfere?

Post by hprmom » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:18 pm

Wow, a few days! So it's okay to go on changing food and water around them? I hate to disturb them, since banded turbo scares easily (is it time to start referring to banded turbo as "she"?).

I'll go search for a thread that explains mating behavior, but if you have a moment to point me in the right direction I'd appreciate it. Image

Current state of affairs, 9 1/2 hours. Banded turbo is in a hollow facing the back wall with the UTH (I imagine it's warm back there!), with Junior behind facing the back of her shell. No movement or struggle, so not a shell fight at this point if I understand correctly.
Image

This is kind of exciting and boring at the same time, lol. I'll take it as a good sign that they're satisfied with their environment and their basic needs are met. Image
wodesorel wrote:If it's lasted this long I would go with guarding behaviour. wolfnipplechips saw it happen before copulation for a few days straight. I've only had it happen after copulation and it lasted about half a day.

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Re: Fight? Stalemate? Should I interfere?

Post by wodesorel » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:34 pm

There's a breeding sticky in the care guides, and wolf and the others should still have their personal breeding topics pinned in Health and Breeding.

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