Can hermit crabs eat sunflower seeds?


Hermit crabs are fascinating creatures, adored and often kept as pets for their unique characteristics. Individuals looking to provide a proper diet for their pet hermit crabs tend to explore various types of foods, including sunflower seeds. In this blog post, we will dive deep into the question, can hermit crabs eat sunflower seeds, and discuss various aspects of their diet and care.

What Do Hermit Crabs Normally Eat?

Before we answer the question of whether hermit crabs can consume sunflower seeds, let's understand their natural diet in the wild. Hermit crabs are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. In general, hermit crabs enjoy a diet that includes:

  • Decaying wood
  • Fallen fruits
  • Algae
  • Small fish
  • Insects
  • Seaweed

When kept as a pet, hermit crab owners should make sure they provide a balanced and varied diet, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and occasional protein sources like fish, chicken, or insects.

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Sunflower Seeds?

Now that we have an understanding of the hermit crab's natural diet, we can address the question of sunflower seeds. The short answer is yes; hermit crabs can eat sunflower seeds. However, it is important to ensure that they are given these seeds in moderation.

Sunflower seeds are a good source of protein, healthy fatty acids, and fiber; all of which hermit crabs can benefit from. However, sunflower seeds should not be the primary source of nutrition for hermit crabs. As mentioned earlier, their diet should be balanced and varied.

When feeding sunflower seeds to your hermit crabs, make sure to use seeds that are raw, unsalted, and unroasted. You should crush or grind the seeds to smaller pieces, making them easier for the hermit crabs to ingest.

Other Foods for Hermit Crabs

To provide your hermit crab with a balanced diet, you can offer a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, such as:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Carrots
  • Leafy greens
  • Squash
  • Mango
  • Papaya

In addition, in order to keep their exoskeleton and overall health in good condition, hermit crabs need to consume calcium-rich foods. Some popular sources of calcium for hermit crabs include:

  • Cuttlebone
  • Crushed eggshells
  • Seashells
  • Coral sand


In conclusion, yes, hermit crabs can eat sunflower seeds as long as it's in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Providing your hermit crab with a nutritious and varied diet ensures that it will lead a healthy and happy life. Make sure to always research and consult with experts when introducing a new food item to your hermit crab's diet. Happy crabbing!

What seeds can hermit crabs eat?

Hermit crabs can enjoy a variety of seeds as part of their healthy, balanced diet. Here are some seeds that are safe for hermit crabs:

  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Hemp seeds

Remember to remove any shells, as they can be too tough for hermit crabs to eat.

Can hermit crabs eat dried fruits?

Yes, hermit crabs can eat unsweetened dried fruits as a tasty treat. Dried fruits provide essential vitamins and nutrients that contribute to their overall health. Some dried fruits your hermit crab might enjoy include:

  • Goji berries
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Raisins
  • Coconut
  • Banana chips
  • Apricot

Always ensure the dried fruits are free of additives and preservatives.

Are nuts safe for hermit crabs to consume?

Unsalted nuts can be a great source of protein and healthy fats for hermit crabs. Nuts you can consider offering to your hermit crab include:

  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Hazelnuts

Make sure to use unsalted nuts, as high amounts of salt can be harmful to hermit crabs. Also, remember to crush the nuts into smaller pieces, making them easier for your hermit crab to consume.

Can hermit crabs eat granola or nutritional yeast flakes?

Yes, hermit crabs can enjoy granola and nutritional yeast flakes as part of their diet. A high-quality granola mix that contains a variety of seeds, nuts, and dried fruits can be a delicious and nutritious snack for hermit crabs. However, avoid granola with added sugars or sweeteners, as these are not suitable for hermit crabs.

Nutritional yeast flakes are an excellent source of protein and B vitamins for hermit crabs. They can be sprinkled onto your hermit crab's food to enhance its nutritional value and provide a boost of essential nutrients.

What other foods can hermit crabs eat?

Hermit crabs are omnivores, which means they can eat a mix of plant-based and animal-based foods. Apart from seeds, dried fruits, and nuts, here are some additional foods you can offer your hermit crab:

  • Leafy greens (kale, spinach, lettuce, etc.)
  • Fresh fruits (apples, berries, melon, etc.)
  • Vegetables (carrots, squash, cucumber, etc.)
  • Cooked grains (rice, quinoa, oats, etc.)
  • Protein sources (cooked fish, shrimp, insects, etc.)

Remember to provide a diverse diet to meet all your hermit crab's nutritional needs and ensure its health and happiness.