Kerie Campbell owner of Epicurean-Hermit
I am in Oakland, CA, and am 40 years old.
All my life, every beach I’ve been to around the world, I’ve spent the entire trip chasing crabs. I love the little critters. I don’t know what it is about them, but I find them to be fascinating. Whole afternoons have slipped by while I pursued both land and marine crabs. Oh, the sunburns I have had!
Then, on October 8, 2004, I won a crab at a fair. I am up to 15 crabs now (as of December 30, 2004), in a climatecontrolled 120 gallon tank complete with filtered fresh and salt water ponds. I thought I could stop with seven, but I was mistaken. I have kept exotic pets on and off since I was 14 years old.I have had scorpions, lizards, birds, and snakes. Snakes were the creatures I had the best success keeping alive. When I started keeping exotics, there was no internet, and not much proper information on their care. I lost several lizards and the scorpions, most probably to climactic deficiencies.
In the ‘80’s I had a hermit crab. Like the other exotics, I had no real idea how to care for it, and the information I was given was incorrect. It either died, or I threw it out when it molted, not knowing anything about their molt cycle. Either way, I have felt sad about it
ever since. After I won the crab in October, I went online to find out how to care for it properly, and was appalled to find out that the information I was given for its care was incorrect and, in some cases, perhaps deadly to the animal. I’ve spent the past three months learning more and more about their keeping, and adding crabs to my menagerie.
I love to do research, and would have gone into the sciences, had I better math skills. Sadly, I am mathematically challenged, and could not pursue a career on that path. Finding hermit crabs, though, I have found a renewed interest in research and the sciences. I have just joined the Crustacean Society, a worldwide organization of crustacean researchers, mainly so I could have access to the Journal of Crustacean Biology. I have located many research papers on crab biology online, and am being given access to others by Vanessa PikeRussell?. I have found that my main interest is in diet and nutrition, and am working on that particular line of inquiry in my own crabitat.
Part of my original research on crabs and their care led me towards organic food for their feeding, as crustaceans are sensitive to chemicals. In researching their care, I have come to the realization that I’m also poisoning my own family with food additives, and am in the process of switching my entire household onto strictly organic foods. My crabs eat like little kings and queens, with a large and varied menu of humangrade organic foods including meats and seafood, algaes (seaweed and spirulina), fruits, nuts, flowers, greens, grains and local pure honey.
I have had four molts so far, all successful, and the color of my postmolt crabs is becoming darker. I feel that the diet I feed my crabs so far is doing them well. I know I still have a lot to learn, but am confident in my abilities as a crab keeper now. I have accepted the honor of being the local representative for CSJ at Vanessa’s behest. I really enjoy the antics of my crusty little friends. I feel fortunate, even blessed, to have found such a wonderful community of fellow crablovers. I look forward to many years of observation and tank rearranging.