Can hermit crabs eat prawns?


Hermit crabs are fascinating creatures that many people adore and keep as pets. They are often seen scuttling around in their intricate shells, navigating the confines of their enclosures or enjoying the great outdoors. One of the most essential aspects of keeping hermit crabs healthy and happy is ensuring they have a proper diet. In this blog post, we will discuss whether hermit crabs can eat prawns and explore other related dietary topics.

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Prawns?

The short answer is yes, hermit crabs can eat prawns. They are omnivorous creatures that thrive on a varied diet. In their natural habitat, hermit crabs consume a wide range of food sources, including small fish, algae, plankton, and detritus. Given that prawns are a type of small crustacean found in both freshwater and marine environments, they can be considered a natural component of a hermit crab's diet.

However, it is essential to keep in mind that prawns should be served to hermit crabs cooked and without any added spices or seasonings. Even a small amount of garlic, onion, or salt can be toxic to hermit crabs, causing significant health issues. It is best to serve prawns to your hermit crabs as an occasional treat rather than a regular meal to ensure they receive a well-balanced diet.

Other Protein Sources for Hermit Crabs

While prawns are an excellent treat for hermit crabs, it is essential to provide them with a mixture of other protein sources to ensure a well-rounded diet. Some other great protein options you might consider feeding your hermit crabs include:

  1. Fish: Small, cooked pieces of fish such as salmon or tuna can provide essential nutrients to your hermit crab.
  2. Insects: Small insects, like crickets or mealworms, can be a fantastic addition to your hermit crab's diet.
  3. Eggs: Boiled or scrambled (without added spices or seasonings), eggs can be an excellent protein source for hermit crabs.

Fruits and Vegetables for Hermit Crabs

In addition to proteins, hermit crabs also require a variety of fruits and vegetables to ensure they receive proper vitamins and minerals. Some fruits and vegetables that are safe for hermit crabs to consume include:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Mangoes
  • Papaya
  • Grapes

And for vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Zucchini

Calcium Sources

Calcium is a vital nutrient for hermit crabs, as it helps with the development and maintenance of their exoskeleton. Providing a proper calcium source is crucial for your hermit crab's health. Some popular calcium sources include:

  • Cuttlebone
  • Crushed oyster shells
  • Calcium supplements formulated for hermit crabs


In conclusion, hermit crabs can indeed eat prawns as part of their varied and wholesome diet. However, it is essential to provide your hermit crabs with a wide range of food items, beyond just prawns, to ensure proper health and nutrition. Additional protein sources, fruits, vegetables, and calcium supplements are essential for a well-rounded hermit crab diet. By providing a diverse array of food options, you can ensure your hermit crab remains happy and healthy for years to come.

Can crabs eat prawns or shrimp?

Absolutely! Crabs can definitely eat prawns and shrimp. In fact, shrimp, prawns, and krill are some of the favorite foods of many crab species, such as the Snow Crab. About 17% of a Snow Crab's diet consists of shrimps and prawns. Other crab species also enjoy eating shrimp and prawns because they are rich in protein, low in fat, and provide essential nutrients such as omega-3s and calcium.

What else do crabs eat?

Crabs are omnivores, which means they eat a variety of food sources. They are scavengers and opportunistic feeders, so they will eat whatever they can find. The primary diet of crabs includes algae, plankton, mollusks, small fish, and detritus (dead plant and animal material). The type of food a crab consumes often depends on the specific species and its habitat.

Do crabs eat other crabs too?

Yes, crabs are known for their cannibalistic behavior, especially when the food is scarce or when there is a high density of crab populations. They often eat smaller and weaker individuals, as well as the molts of other crabs that have recently shed their exoskeletons. However, this habit may vary depending on the species and the availability of other food sources.

How do crabs capture their prey?

Crabs have strong and powerful pincers called chelae, which they use to grab, crush and tear apart their prey. Their distinct walking legs also enable them to scuttle sideways, quickly catching up with their food. In addition to their pincers and agile movements, some crab species use special adaptations, such as enlarged claws or specialized hairs, to effectively capture and eat their meals.

What types of environments do crabs live in, and how does it affect their diet?

Crabs can be found in a variety of marine and freshwater environments, from the depths of the ocean floor to the shallows of coastal regions. The habitat a crab lives in often dictates its diet. For example, crabs living in close proximity to coral reefs have abundant access to small fish, algae, and plankton, while crabs living in estuaries or marsh areas might feed on plants, small invertebrates, and detritus. In general, crabs living in diverse environments with abundant food sources often have a more varied diet.

Do crabs have any predators?

Crabs do have predators, including various species of fish, birds, and larger marine mammals. In addition to these natural predators, crabs are also a popular food source for humans. Crab fishing is a significant industry worldwide, providing a livelihood for many coastal communities and launching an array of culinary dishes that celebrate this tasty crustacean.

Overall, the diverse and adaptable diet of crabs is one aspect that makes them such fascinating and resilient creatures. The ability to eat prawns, shrimp, and a wide variety of other food sources allows them to thrive in various ecosystems around the world.