Happy Halloween, Hermit!

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:

 13C Lazarus and 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.

13C Spike

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?

2 thoughts on “Happy Halloween, Hermit!

  • March 13, 2013 at 7:16 am

    I just may have to get one of these guys. All my tanks now are freshwater (and 1 brackish mangrove tank) but I’ll soon be getting my brother’s 55 gal saltwater setup. I do have at least 3 fiddler crabs and a crayfish in my mangrove tank, but the mudskippers are the highlight.

    • March 13, 2013 at 11:28 pm

      I LOVE mudskippers!! They’re so bizarre and yet so adorable at the same time.

      If you’re setting up a saltwater reef (or even a FOWLR), halloween hermits are a fantastic addition. Very lively and mobile, and active during the day, which makes them easy to see and fun to watch for sure.

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