I’ve mentioned our Halloween Hermit, Lazarus (named for an almost unfortunate molting incident, during which we believed him dead) but it recently occurred to me that he deserved a post of his own – even more so now that we’ve acquired a second Halloween Hermit, Spike:
(That’s Spike at the front, trying to climb the glass, and Lazarus at the back on the left-hand side.)
The Halloween Hermit (Trizopagurus (Ciliopagurus) strigatus) – also known as the orange-legged or striped hermit – is native to the Indo-Pacific region and features the brightest coloration of any hermit commonly found in private aquariums.
The crabs get their names from their brilliant orange and black striped legs, and although they don’t mind a live snack (let the snails beware), they’re just as happy to eat “dead” foods like frozen mysis and brine.
Lazarus has already learned to grab for the seahorses’ feeding tube. If he catches it, he hangs from the end and pulls out pieces of frozen shrimp as I’m squirting them into the feeding dish.
He’s also learned to hitch a ride on snails climbing up the side of the tank – which he uses as his personal elevator to the top of the reef.
Spike and Lazarus more or less ignore one another, which I appreciate because it means I can keep them both without trouble.
They’re active (though somewhat slow and clumsy), and good at cleaning up detritus, which makes them a welcome and entertaining addition to the reef.
What do you think of the Halloween Hermit? Spooky treat or creepy beast?