Vampire crabs originate from Southeast Asia, and they are mostly terrestrial, living in forests and near rivers. Vampire crabs are also called carnival crabs and panther crabs. They are about an inch wide, and with legs spread, they are a total of about 2 Ĺ.Ē Their legs and carapace are blue or reddish and their fronts are a slight purple in color, as are their pincers. The females have a wider abdomen than males have. They are sociable, and get along well with each other. They arenít especially active; vampire crabs tend to find a place where they like to sit and stay there for long periods of time. Vampire crabs are easy to keep, and do not need salt water to breed or molt in. Their unusual appearance makes them an interesting choice for an aquarium. Housing
Vampire crabs do well in an aquarium with plenty of rocks and pieces of wood for them to climb and sit on. They also like Java moss, in addition to a sandy substrate, and the females will dig down in the moss when having her offspring. They need aproximately 50% land mass as they need to be able to get out of the water. The water temperature should remain in the 70s (F.) and they are more active in warmer water. Five or six vampire crabs will fit and reside comfortably in a 10-gallon tank, and they are non-aggressive with each other. Diet
Vampire crabs are omnivore, but they arenít very active in their search for food; they will just eat whatever is nearby. They will eat both in and out of the water, and will help keep the tank free of organic matter. In addition to the organic matter, vampire crabs will eat most anything. It is a good idea to vary their diet, and they will eat small crickets, brine shrimp and earthworm pieces, in addition to other meats. They will also eat most any kind of dried algae, fish flakes or pellets, and dried or fresh vegetables. Molting And Reproducing
Vampire crabs will molt about once a year, and they will dig down in the substrate to molt. The process takes several weeks, and can be done in completely freshwater. Breeding also occurs in freshwater, unlike most crabs. The vampire crab does not need to be in water to reproduce. The female vampire crab will carry many large eggs for several weeks. When the eggs hatch, the offspring appear as miniature adults; there is no larval stage. Behavior
Vampire crabs are sociable, and get along well with each other. They arenít especially active; vampire crabs tend to find a place where they like to sit and stay there for long periods of time. Vampire crabs are easy to keep, and do not need salt water to breed or molt in. They can also be purple and red especially when young. Their unusual appearance makes them an interesting choice for an aquarium.
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