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Purple Pincher Hermit Crab - Coenobita clypeatus (Captive Bred CBP)

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About This Product

 Yes, these are CAPTIVE BRED hermit crabs! We've partnered with a dedicated hobbyist to offer these to you! They go through a month long planktonic larval stage, making captive breeding very difficult. These animals are a year old and thriving and do not need to be quarantined!

Orders of 5 or more crabs require approval. Please contact us.

Defining Characteristics:

  • Nocturnal
  • Great Climbers
  • Social, must be kept in pairs or groups
  • Difficult to Breed
  • Change shells

Name: Coenobita clypeatus. Commonly known as the Purple Pincher Hermit Crab due to its large purple claw. 

Recommended Terrarium Size: A 20 gallon or 18x18x18 terrarium is suitable for 2-4 small crabs, but there's nothing wrong with providing extra space since they will need more space as they grow. The tank size needed is highly dependent on the size of the crab and the depth of the substrate. On average, you’ll want to budget at least 10 gallons of space per adult crab. They will also need 3-5 shells of suitable size to change into per crab. We sell 6 packs of assorted favorites that can ship with the crabs.

Want to spice up your enclosure with live plants? Our experts have curated a kit of easy-to-care-for and SAFE plants for your hermit crab. Check them out here!

These hermit crabs will need a tank with ideal conditions immediately upon arrival, do not set up a temporary enclosure. 

Temperature: Keep Hermit Crabs between 75-85F. Day/Night temperatures can fluctuate and it is recommended to provide a gradient of heat in the tank so that Hermit Crabs can choose how warm to be. Do not use heat lamps as a heat source, heating mats on the back of the tank are the best. 

Humidity: Hermit Crabs need it to be humid to breathe. Provide two water dishes (fresh and salt) and humid hides to maintain humidity at about 70-80%. Misting is not recommended due to the lack of ventilation. Water can build up in the substrate and cause flooding which will harm molting crabs. Substrate can be allowed to be drier at the top, but it should not be bone dry and the substrate should be sand-castle consistency overall. It should either be a mix of play sand and coco fiber or Josh's Frogs Hermit Crab Biobedding.

Size: Adult Hermit Crabs can measure up to about 6” across. Hermit Crabs sold by Josh’s Frogs will be approximately .5” across.  

Age: Hermit Crabs can live 30-40 years with proper care. Jonathan Livingston was the oldest recorded crab in captivity at 44 years old. All Hermit Crabs sold by Josh's Frogs will be about a year old at the time of sale. 

Feeding: Hermit Crabs are scavengers. Their food bowl should never be empty and have a variety of either fresh or dried fruits, vegetables and protein. They should have a source of fresh calcium available at all times. Their food should not contain copper sulfate or ethoxyquin. We offer a feeder bundle to get you started. 

Sexing: Sexing Hermit Crabs is easy as long as the crab is cooperative. Females have spots at the base of their last pair of walking legs called gonopores. This can be done by picking the crab up by the shell and looking at its underside or waiting until it comes up to the glass and shows its underside. 

Color/Pattern: Purple Pinchers are usually tan or brown with a large purple claw, but some individuals can be more red or purple based on genetics and diet. 

Social Behavior: Hermit Crabs are very social and do best in groups, but can be kept as a pair. Captive-bred babies can be kept with older wild-caught crabs as long as the wild-caught ones have gone through quarantine and are adjusted to the captive lifestyle. Wild-caught crabs are often sick, starving and defensive after being transported and improperly cared for in the store. This can lead to shell stealing and cannibalism. 

Breeding: Breeding hermit crabs in captivity used to be considered impossible. It requires happy adult crabs, special equipment, and lots of dedication. Hermit Crabs reach sexual maturity between 2-3 years in age. 

Natural Range: Hermit crabs are native to the West Atlantic and Caribbean.

History in the Hobby: Hermit Crabs have historically been wild caught and treated as throw away pets that only live a few months. Often found at stands at tourist locations and as prizes at carnivals in toxic painted shells that attract children's attention, these impulse purchase pets usually do not live long due to improper care and poor advice. 

Best Clean up crew for Bioactive: Dwarf Whites or Porcellionides pruinosus White Out, Oreo Crumble, Powder Blue, Powder Orange. Learn more in our blog!

Links of Interest:

  • Captive Breeding Attempts:
  • Josh's Frogs Hermit Crab Care Blog: Taking Care of your Hermit Crabs
  • Josh's Frogs Bioactive Hermit Crab setup for Babies: Video


Still not sure if a Hermit Crab from Josh's Frogs is the right pet for you? Read the reviews below and see what other customers are saying!


After placing an order containing a live animal, you will receive a scheduling email containing our JotForm scheduling link to schedule your new pet's delivery date.

With this scheduling link, you will be able to schedule your order's delivery up to 30 days in advance. You will be able to choose a date of delivery for Tuesday-Saturday (Saturday arrival depends on the carrier's service availability) with the estimated time of arrival generally being 12pm, or 4:30pm for more rural areas. Overnight lows must be above 40°F to ship directly to you (or above 30°F for FedEx Ship Center pickups) as well as below 90°F by estimated time of arrival.

If you require further assistance, or prefer to talk to one of our Customer Service agents, please feel free to reach out to our [email protected] email or our phone line 1-800-691-8178.

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