Somebody ate Moya (Maybe?? Or did she shrink that much?)

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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CrabbyMom33
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Re: Somebody ate Moya (Maybe?? Or did she shrink that much?)

Post by CrabbyMom33 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:10 am

I think it's the same crab. I pulled both a before and after picture to my PC and enlarged them. Here is the side by side comparison and I circled the area that I'm pretty certain matches.

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Re: Somebody ate Moya (Maybe?? Or did she shrink that much?)

Post by wodesorel » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:31 am

I really can't tell, so I'm hoping you're right. :)

However, if it is her, that means she lost half of her mass and that can't be a good sign. Has anyone had a jumbo crab drop down to a large before in one molt? What on earth would be causing it? (A little slippage in size I think is normal when you get a new crab that molts before they've had time to replenish their stores, but she molted 16-17 months ago so she had plenty of time to bulk up.)

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Re: Somebody ate Moya (Maybe?? Or did she shrink that much?)

Post by CrabbyMom33 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:36 am

I'm pretty sure it's a match. Look in the area I circled - 4 spots at an angle on the left, 2 up from there to the right in a V, and one connecting the 2 lines. I looked at some other areas and they seem to match, but that was the clearest to me. It would be very strange to loose that much mass, and as you said, likely not a good sign.
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Re: Somebody ate Moya (Maybe?? Or did she shrink that much?)

Post by wolfnipplechips » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:40 pm

Looks like a match to me! Good work, crabbymom! I couldn't find any matches just looking at the photos. Though, I did notice the teeth on the big claw match very well. :) I hope it is Moya. But I hope she will be alright if she shrunk that much! Poor girl! Oddly enough, this has happened to me (well, my crab) a couple years ago. I adopted a jumbo and 3 mediums from petco. The three smaller ones molted just fine, but the jumbo shrunk down to almost a small! The next time he tried to molt again, he died. He did molt successfully, but stayed in the same spot for weeks, not moving very much, and eventually passed. :( I hope Moya doesn't have the same fate.
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Re: Somebody ate Moya (Maybe?? Or did she shrink that much?)

Post by Rocky » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:59 pm

I think it's Moya to, maybe she was having a difficult molt and used up her body weight as energy to get through it?
I'm so sorry wode :( :crabcry:
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Re: Somebody ate Moya (Maybe?? Or did she shrink that much?)

Post by NeviNuNu » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:16 pm

Is it possible she switched in to a slightly larger magpie? If she's in a bigger shell then that may be why shes looking smaller. Or maybe when you first got her she wasnt strong enough to pull in to her shell very tightly? Just throwing stuff out there! Or and my big crabs are famous for this when I pick them up they will not go all the way in their shells so they can get their big pincher out there just in case they need to defend themselves. It looks like the same crab to me but in the one picture it looks like she's about to come out and in the other she's more tightly tucked in.
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Re: Somebody ate Moya (Maybe?? Or did she shrink that much?)

Post by wodesorel » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:43 pm

That's the largest natural magpie I have by far, so I know it's the same shell. (Hubby immediately asked the same question!) And she used to fit tight in that thing - you could hear the sand grinding as she tried to retreat farther in but couldn't.

The photo from before was as far in as she could get. She never came out for me when I picked her up!

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Re: Somebody ate Moya (Maybe?? Or did she shrink that much?)

Post by NeviNuNu » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:17 pm

Yeah I knew I was pointing out the obvious but just in case. I hope that's her and I hope shes alright. It's a very peculiar situation!
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Re: Somebody ate Moya (Maybe?? Or did she shrink that much?)

Post by tnt4eva » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:36 pm

I'd stake my right arm on that being the same crab. I printed off a photo of Moya and a photo of the possible Moya, with the BP blown right up and all the little dots match up. It's the same crab.

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Re: Somebody ate Moya (Maybe?? Or did she shrink that much?)

Post by JediMasterThrash » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:36 pm

I have had crabs get smaller after molts before, usually when they molted too abruptly. So it's definitely possible. Also crabs often appear slightly smaller shortly after a molt, as they get larger as their exo hardens (the crab was initially inside it's old exo, so it has to start out smaller). But that's not the case here since the exo looks hard already.

Aren't the "Teeth" on the BP supposed to be unique per crab, like a fingerprint (and keep their profile after molts)? It looks like the teeth don't match between the two.
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Re: Somebody ate Moya (Maybe?? Or did she shrink that much?)

Post by wodesorel » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:12 am

It's definitely her! She took her normal place under the cholla wood last night - that spot has been empty for a little over a month now, so I'm positive that she's back.

As far as I can tell, the teeth change dramatically from molt to molt. I had tried tracking my crabs that way from the start and it doesn't work. :)

The spot pattern theory has been around for a while and it really looks like it works. Why the teeth change but their spots (whatever they're called, I can't think today >< ) stay the same I'm not sure. I personally can't read the spots though - I've tried several times and it just doesn't work for me! I can't see the patterns in them at all.

Thank you crabbymom and Tash for going that extra mile. :) Between you two verifying the matching spots and her being in her old place I have no doubt that the crab is Moya. :D

Now... Why did she kill another crab underground and why did she shrink??? I'll probably never know. :sigh:

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Re: Somebody ate Moya (Maybe?? Or did she shrink that much?)

Post by Rocky » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:17 am

Thats awesome! Yay for Moya! :clap: Maybe the PP was molting right after she finished, and being a hungry hungry crabby just couldn't resist?
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Re: Somebody ate Moya (Maybe?? Or did she shrink that much?)

Post by CrabbyMom33 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:23 am

Maybe the two things are related? Just guessing here. If she didn't have enough built up to sustain her well through the molt, which could possibly explain the shrinking, maybe she was so in need of food that she ate the first thing she found - a molter.
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Re: Somebody ate Moya (Maybe?? Or did she shrink that much?)

Post by Invert Mom » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:32 pm

I'm so glad she is alright. I'm sorry for the loss of your other crab though.
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Re: Somebody ate Moya (Maybe?? Or did she shrink that much?)

Post by tnt4eva » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:34 pm

Perhaps the stress of all that she went through left her hungry and/or grumpy so she took advantage of an easy snack. I've seen a stressful molt result in shrinkage before, so that doesn't really surprise me. That was Ghost and he was buried, ready to molt when someone dug him up and picked a shell fight with him, leaving him naked underground. Strangely, he never grows much during his molts now.

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