Land crab randomly bred in captivity.

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Jlsierra
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Land crab randomly bred in captivity.

Post by Jlsierra » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:51 am

Hi everyone!
We've been crabbing for over 7 years now. Currently we have 4 hermit crabs. Watching one climb, I found out Doug was actually a Dougina. A day later we noticed strange behavior such as her hanging way further out of her shell than normal, it looked like she was pushing/straining (giving birth). Then, I noticed this dark matter on the left side of her body, attached to her abdomen. Eggs! We didn't purposely breed her and she's been with us over 3 years(meaning she wasn't knocked up when we bought her...3 years ago ha).
Anyways, the eggs were dark, we planned on setting up a fake ocean today. I gently picked her up and noticed the eggs weren't there in her shell:( I checked the salt water, the normal wager. No where. Finally i checked this hole someone dug that she was hanging out in last night... there were the eggs in the sand.
Does this mean her offspring are dead now? Should I leave the eggs alone and let nature take its course? Will the others try to eat them or will Dougina attempt to save them? I'm LOST!

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Re: Land crab randomly bred in captivity.

Post by GotButterflies » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:48 am

You could attempt to put the eggs in marine saltwater- that's how they become zoea- if they are ready to be released. I'm tagging @renroc - @mlakers for this one!


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wodesorel
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Re: Land crab randomly bred in captivity.

Post by wodesorel » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:20 pm

It's common for them to ditch them in captivity, they scoop them out of their she'll like they do they poop and leave them in areas of the tank. She probably had eggs before this too and you never noticed. It sadly happens.

In my experience when PPs ditch the eggs they are bad. Even when they end up in a water dish they aren't always good. You can try putting them into saltwater immediately and see what happens, they pop open and the zoea are released when they hit water if they are good.

Otherwise her and the other crabs will eat them. They're a pretty popular snack in my tanks in the summer, actually.

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Re: Land crab randomly bred in captivity.

Post by mlakers » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:32 pm

I would try some of them in a little saltwater, just for the experiment to see what happens. If they mated at the full moon, then this is a little early for the eggs to be viable, but you never know.

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Re: Land crab randomly bred in captivity.

Post by wodesorel » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:44 pm

They aren't moon breeders, they just seem to go for it whenever.

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Re: Land crab randomly bred in captivity.

Post by mlakers » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:45 am

wodesorel wrote:They aren't moon breeders, they just seem to go for it whenever.
Wow, I didn't know that! I have only ever witnessed mine display mating/guarding on or within two days of a full moon. And I was under the impression that spawning happened right around the new moon. Interesting. Do you think it's a captivity thing? Or is it true in wild breeding populations as well?


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Re: Land crab randomly bred in captivity.

Post by Jlsierra » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:39 am

I wish I could share a picture. I believe they were ready to go into salt water, but Dougina just didn't find the dish suitable. After posting this, they had been in the sand for over 24 hours and another crab decided to snack. To think this has been happening under our noses the whole time irks me! We've never seen her act the way she was. We thought she was going to do a surface molt, until I saw the eggs.

Thank you everyone! If there is a next time, I'll introduce them to salt water and see what happens :) For now, I'm just happy that Dougina is okay (although she keeps trying to run and hide from Kevin. I think he really wants to be a daddy lol!). Thank you again <3

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Re: Land crab randomly bred in captivity.

Post by wodesorel » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:18 pm

mlakers wrote:
wodesorel wrote:They aren't moon breeders, they just seem to go for it whenever.
Wow, I didn't know that! I have only ever witnessed mine display mating/guarding on or within two days of a full moon. And I was under the impression that spawning happened right around the new moon. Interesting. Do you think it's a captivity thing? Or is it true in wild breeding populations as well?
Eggs take a month, so that doesn't line up given it would be 2 or 6 weeks to the next new moon.

It's probably a captivity thing. The one year I watched for it, they went new moon, and then two weeks later, and then a week later, and then five days later. They do their thing in Aug in the wild, but the Germans get their eggs year round and mine go May to Aug so something messes with their normal cycles.

I think part of it has to do with when the molting cycles sync up. I had at least six sets of eggs this year starting in May, those were just the ones that made it to the dishes. I think it had to do with moving them into their current enclosures and them going for mass molts in Nov. They were all primed and ready to go once things looked favorable.

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Re: Land crab randomly bred in captivity.

Post by mlakers » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:06 pm

That makes sense. I think I just keep looking too hard for a reliable pattern...when I should know by now that every time I think I've got something about them "figured out," they turn around and do the opposite. "Planning" and hermit crabs really don't go together. :wink:

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Re: Land crab randomly bred in captivity.

Post by mlakers » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:19 pm

I had a mass molt in February/March with all of them coming up in early June, so maybe that's part of it. I'm pretty sure another female has eggs right now, too, but I haven't confirmed. She's shy and is wearing a much darker shell so it's hard to get a good look inside, but I definitely saw mating behavior with her, too, only two days after the other female. It's also interesting that these are the two smallest females in my colony and NOT the ones that mated with the same male last October.

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Re: Land crab randomly bred in captivity.

Post by wodesorel » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:48 pm

I've read they don't mate every year, possible due to the way the molting cycles rotate through the year.

I always had smaller females as well, never the bigger ones. And I never saw mating behaviour until I had two jumbo males, and then every male in the tank wanted in! :lol: Had a video up of one of the matings on YouTube at one point, not sure if it's still there.

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Re: Land crab randomly bred in captivity.

Post by mlakers » Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:11 am

wodesorel wrote:I've read they don't mate every year, possible due to the way the molting cycles rotate through the year.

I always had smaller females as well, never the bigger ones. And I never saw mating behaviour until I had two jumbo males, and then every male in the tank wanted in! :lol: Had a video up of one of the matings on YouTube at one point, not sure if it's still there.
I saw it last year when I was researching my first batch of eggs. It was a great video! I just now googled it and YouTube said it wasn't available. :cry:

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