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Coral Vue Hydros

Something sharing my hermit crab shell identified!!


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Cool. Let us know if anyone has any idea what that is! And definitely update if it leaves the shell, or if the hermit transfers shells (which might be awhile, that shell's huge) and the shrimp goes with it. I know some pistol shrimp live in sponges (eusocial ones, if I remember right), and some live in anemones, so... maybe this is a species that lives with hermits. 

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I know this might sound out of range, but could this be some sort of species/sub-species of emperor shrimp, per chance? I understand the carapace around the head region looks different, but I just have a niggling feeling that it's somehow related. Just my opinion. 

Whatever it is, I think it's amazing. I've had a Dardanus megistos crab before - not reefsafe, but very interesting to watch. No symbiotic relationship, as far as I can remember. It was a beast in the tank though. 

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I also thought emperor shrimp, which would make sense, especially with the swaying motions and their commensal habits. But it does have the one big claw, and it really gives me a 'pistol shrimp' vibe in the shape of it. I could be wrong, though. Either way it's really interesting. 


Dardanus megistos seems to be one of those critters that's not reef safe, not because it directly eats coral, but because it tramples and likes to taste pretty much everything. My LFS accidentally gave me one, once, in an "empty" shell for my hermits, and I had to go back like "hey, this shell's not empty". I'd love to have one eventually, but I don't think my pico reef would work very well for one.

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Maybe one claw broke and is growing back in? It still looks very pistol ish but yes also slightly emperor shrimpish in behavior.

I saw some pictures of sevral small pistol with simmilar markings but in different colors. One was black with a purple stripe down the back. Not sure of spiecies. Reminded me alot of this one BUT they are significantly larger. I cant wait to see if the lady you messaged knows anything about it.

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I don't think this is going to be a shrimp that the hobby is familiar with. I've never heard of a shrimp that lives on a hermit crab, and I can't find anything on Google. This seems like the sort of thing that would be in several pop science articles if it was well-known. 

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  • Privateer changed the title to Something sharing my hermit crab shell identified!!

Oh, very cool! Not quite as cool as if it was a new species, but still very, very neat. 


It says in the link that there are no records of it having been successfully kept in captivity. Give this guy in your tank a few more months, and that looks like a success to me! I'd imagine he'll do quite well if just given scraps of whatever the hermit is eating. How lucky that you got a hermit that came in with one!

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Thanks to everyone who commented and helped me get an id on this little fella!! I will be watching him very close . Late summer early fall I’m planning on the crab having his own tank…I’m thinking 20x 20 inch shallow tank for now , I’m wondering if gsp would stand up to his shenanigans. Lol 

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  • 1 month later...
On 7/15/2022 at 4:01 AM, Ann said:

This is just so cool, what an amazing discovery. 😍 How are the pair getting on now?

No changes at all, they both seem to be happy and doing well.

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