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Species Care Sheet: Viola (Coenobita violascens)

The HCA's official articles and crab care guides.

Species Care Sheet: Viola (Coenobita violascens)

PostAuthor: HCADirectors » Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:46 pm

Viola (Coenobita violascens)

Other Common Names: Sunset Viola, Chocolate Sunset Viola
Formerly known in the pet trade as Cavipes. (C. cavipes are their own distinct species, and misidentification was common.)
Several stores have been selling violas labeled as Blueberries or Indos as of late.

Forum species nickname: Viola (plural Violas)


Below are the specialty characteristics of this species. For information on enclosures, housing size, diet, water needs and general care that apply to all species, please see our Crab Care Brochure, located here: viewtopic.php?t=92457


Description: Violas are identified by their unique slender eyes. They also have red mouth parts, and often antenna as well. When young they are red, orange and/or brown in coloration, usually with cream colored stripes on their legs and claws. As they grow older those colors fade away and they slowly become the blue and violet color for which they get their name.

Native Habitat: Found along the Asian coastline from Bangladesh to China. Also found on islands from the Southernmost islands of Japan down to Indonesia. Reports of them being found on the small islands off the West coast of Africa, and also on the mainland in Tanzania.

Temperatures: 80 to 85 degrees is when they appear to be most active.

Humidity: At least 75%, but higher is safer for all hermit crabs.

Diet: Violas are more into eating proteins and meats that other species, and are noted to pass up plant material for anything that is meat or seafood. They are known to actively hunt insects and fish that may be kept within the tank.

Activity Level: Medium activity, including during the day. They are also well known to be very shy and skittish around humans.

Enclosure: They are great climbers, so having an enclosure that offers them lots of area to do so is ideal.

Shells: Small Violas prefer cone shaped shells like turitella and telescopium. Generally this species prefers the oddest selection of shells and can choose nearly any type of shell they can fit in. They have been found to like fox shells, fusi, whelk, vole, all types of babylonia, all species of turbos, cantharus, murex, ostrich foot, frog shells, and bursa.
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