Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site

Clibanarius tricolor
Blue-Legged Hermit Crab

 Age of Aquariums > Saltwater Fish

Photos & Comments

Clibanarius_tricolor_1.jpg (35kb)
Photo Credit: Philip Lessans

Name: Clibanarius tricolor
Size BehaviorReef
Origin: ?
2 cm Scavenger Low Risk


Though they are often included in many reef-safe clean-up crew packages, there are reports about them being semi-aggressive with other crustaceans and bothering some corals. Use with caution. Mine do occasionally kill turbo snails or pull other hermits out of their shells after a "wrestling match", and sometimes will take advantage of weakened corals that are going downhill. I have found that the red-leg hermits are generally a little more peaceful, though I haven't had major problems with either yet. Both are good controllers of detritus, though not as efficient if kept as algae grazers alone.

Contributed by Cecilia Chen

I have kept blue legged hermit crabs before and found them to do an OK job at eating leftover food, as they seemed to eat anything other than plant matter or algae. Their major drawback to me was they kept on killing each other for each other's shells. Eventually I went from 10 to 4 crabs. They are a good species of crab as long as they have lots of shells to choose from.

Contributed by Andrew Brown

'Steve McQueen', as our only crab is affectionately known, is quite a character in our tank. Always active around tea time, you can see him trying to cross impossible gaps or escape via the air brick pipe out of the tank, much to the amusement of my children. Only one of my Clarkii's seems to have a problem with him, the rest are OK. Not the best at 'cleaning up', but the comedy value is worth the investment.

Contributed by Paul Taylor

I like to keep a lot of shells of different sizes so they can jump house. It helps cut down on the killing.

Contributed by Donald Palmer

They are fun to watch, but They can be a hazard to fragile life. I had a clam in my tank that was beautiful but I think my hermits were eyeing it from day one. One day I came home to find a snail had crawled into the clams shell, maybe fell in, and the clam was unable to close and was being eaten by two of my red-legged hermits. I was so upset! But I guess that's the way it goes in nature, just keep an eye on those hermits, they can cause some interesting problems.

Contributed by Evan Rowley

This is a very good invertebrate to have in a tank, large or small. They are good at ridding your sand or gravel of dead oraganisms or extra food. They fight more than the red-legged variety, but overall they are great to have.

Contributed by Jake M.

This was one of my favorite inhabitants of my small saltwater aquarium. My crab was pretty small, but very active. He hid behind some live rock to molt, but the next day was out eating again. I fed my crabs pieces of dried marine algae and they seemed to enjoy it. I would say these hermit crabs are very good choice, for beginners they are very easy to take care of. Their bright color is a welcome sight and the fact that they eat algae and detritus is an added bonus!

Contributed by Jessics U

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