Unsuitable shells for hermit crabs

There are a lot of shells being sold as hermit crab shells which are, in reality, not suitable at all. The obvious painted shells should be avoided at all costs but here are some other shells, painted or not, that you should not buy for your hermit crabs.

Our video on choosing the right shells
Suitable shells for hermit crabs
How do I choose suitable shells for my hermit crab

Despite these hermit crabs being forced into these shells, they are NOT acceptable. These are not only covered in clear varnish but I've never seen a hermit crab voluntarily wear this type of shell.

Despite these hermit crabs being forced into these shells, they are NOT acceptable. These are not only covered in clear varnish but I’ve never seen a hermit crab voluntarily wear this type of shell.


Despite these hermit crabs being forced into these shells, they are NOT acceptable. These are not only covered in clear varnish but I've never seen a hermit crab voluntarily wear this type of shell.

Despite these hermit crabs being forced into these shells, they are NOT acceptable. These are not only covered in clear varnish but I’ve never seen a hermit crab voluntarily wear this type of shell.


Angaria delphinus – these shells are too narrow and the spiral is wrong. These hermit crabs I found at Earthbound Trading have definitely been forced into these shells and were likely trapped. There were too many of them for me to buy them all in hopes of saving them.

Despite these hermit crabs being forced into these shells, they are NOT acceptable. These are not only covered in clear varnish but the shell spiral is wrong for a hermit crab. They will not voluntarily wear these delphinias.

Despite these hermit crabs being forced into these shells, they are NOT acceptable. These are not only covered in clear varnish but the shell spiral is wrong for a hermit crab. They will not voluntarily wear these delphinias.


Despite these hermit crabs being forced into these shells, they are NOT acceptable. These are not only covered in clear varnish but the shell spiral is wrong for a hermit crab. They will not voluntarily wear these delphinias.

Despite these hermit crabs being forced into these shells, they are NOT acceptable. These are not only covered in clear varnish but the shell spiral is wrong for a hermit crab. They will not voluntarily wear these delphinias.


unsuitable for a hermit crab

unsuitable for a hermit crab


Muffin shell

Muffin shells are often sold as hermit crab shells but I never once had one of my crabs even try them on.


Tectusconus unsuitable for a hermit crab

Tectusconus is sometimes seen in use by exotic species but not commonly used in captive hermit crabs


Cassispilia not an ideal shell due to the long narrow opening and rough edges

Cassispilia not an ideal shell due to rough edges. If the crab is able to modify the shell and wear down the ‘teeth’ these would be usable.