Home Forums Chewin’ the Choya Crab Vanished?

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    Hello everyone! I have a question about one of my Purple Pincers.

    He started a Molt yesterday, which was slightly worrying to me because he did a surface molt. The substrate is deep enough for him, and the heat and humidity are good, so I’m not sure why he would undertake a surface molt. However, I made sure he was clear of obstructions, and left him alone to do what nature intended. I saw that he had already shed his exoskeleton, and was curled up inside his shell.

    Last night before I went to bed, I saw that he had crawled out of his shell and was laying there in his new pink exoskeleton. I got worried, but elected not to disturb him, as I saw him moving, indicating his is alive. I double checked the heat and humidity and both were fine, so I decided to go to bed. When I woke up this morning, my molted crab was gone! I checked every shell in the tank, and did a little digging to see if he buried himself but I cannot find him anywhere. There are 2 other Purple Pincers in the tank with him, but they never bothered him, nor his shed exoskeleton.

    My question is, is he buried so well I simply cannot find him, or is something else happening that I’m not understanding? I’ve had him for 2 years now, and I’m quite nervous due to his disappearance. Normally when burrowed, I can at least find the crabs.

    Suggestions, fellow Crabbers?


    Some crabs do surface molt even when conditions are right.
    Did he possibly take a new shell and dig down? Was he barricaded from the other crabs getting to him? it’s possible they attacked him during the night and cannibalized him but I would think there would be some remains visible in the tank. Sounds awful I know. Did you check under your water dishes?


    All of the shells are accounted for, and he isn’t in any of them 🙁

    I would have separated him from the others for his molt, but he molted quite suddenly and without warning so I was unable to. I didn’t want to touch him or bother him while he was pink and new (and shell-less to boot) so I left him be. I made a makeshift barrier around him of wood from inside the tank, and to my knowledge, the others left him be. When I woke up, he had vanished.

    Aside from his exoskeleton which he discarded, I found no visible remains. I thought the same way you did, if they had attacked him then at least there would be a small bit of remains. But nothing.

    I did check under the water and food dishes. Nothing. 🙁


    False alarm! He had apparently crawled ALL the way up into the biggest shell in the tank, to the point that I could not see him. I cleaned the crabitat today, and he came ambling out to see the commotion! So happy Brutus is alive 🙂 His newly molted skin looks beautiful!


    I was happy to read you found your crab!


    Whew, that was a close call, so glad it turned out well. Since it was a surface molt and had already begun you might of moved the two other crabs and let him have the tank since it started so suddenly.

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