10 Different Types of Crabs for Pets

types of crabs for pets
Photo by Chandler Cruttenden

Are you considering getting a pet crab? If so, there are many different types of crabs for pets that you can choose from.

Before deciding which is the best fit for you and your lifestyle, it’s essential to understand the different types of crabs available for pets.

Each type of crab has unique qualities and characteristics that make it the perfect pet for certain people.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the various types of crabs for pets and what factors you should consider when making your choice.

1. Hermit Crab

If you’re looking for an unusual pet, consider a hermit crab! Hermit crabs are one of the most popular types of crabs for pets. These small, nocturnal animals are relatively easy to care for and can be kept in tanks or enclosures. 

They can make great interactive pets, and their small size makes them perfect for even smaller living spaces. Hermit crabs are scavengers in the wild, so they should be provided with various foods to eat. Be sure to research which items are safe for hermit crabs, as some foods can be toxic. 

Hermit crabs need a humid environment to thrive, so provide them with plenty of water and misting if required. They need access to both land and water areas within their enclosure. Hermit crabs can be fun and unique pet requirequireslatively minimal care.

2. Vampire crab

One of the more exotic types of crabs for pets is the Vampire crab. This unique crab species, native to tropical regions of Southeast Asia, has large, fan-like claws that give it a vampire-like appearance. The Vampire crab is often sold as a pet in aquariums and pet stores worldwide, making it an increasingly popular option for those looking to keep unusual crabs as pets. 

The Vampire crab’s unique look is thanks to its impressive set of claws, which are equipped with spikes and serrated edges that make it look similar to a vampire bat. In addition to its distinctive feet, this crab species also has a deep red coloration and an oval-shaped body that makes it stand out from other types of crabs for pets. This type of crab can be found in fresh and brackish water environments and does best in aquariums that are kept at temperatures between 24-28°C. 

They require plenty of hiding places, such as rocks, driftwood, and natural debris, for foraging.

They are omnivores, so a balanced diet should include meaty and plant-based foods. 

Vampire crabs can be kept in groups, but ensure that the tank is large enough to accommodate multiple individuals.

Also, because these crabs are pretty active, they need plenty of room to explore and roam.

3. Fiddler Crab

Fiddler crabs are one of the most popular types of crabs for pets. These small crabs have a unique appearance, making them an attractive pet option. Fiddler crabs have a single claw on each side, with the giant nail being much more giant than the other. 

They are also easily identifiable by their distinctive red and white-striped legs. Fiddler crabs are relatively easy to care for and require minimal space. In terms of diet, these crustaceans prefer to feed on algae, fish flakes, and other small bits of food. 

Fiddler crabs need access to water and places to hide and climb. While they are social animals, they are best kept in pairs or small groups to avoid aggression among the crabs.

4. Matano Crab

The Matano crab, also known as the Red-Clawed Crab, is one of the most popular types of crabs for pets. This small and attractive crustacean is native to Southeast Asia, where it inhabits the rivers and swamps of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Although the Matano crab is not a valid freshwater species, it does enjoy brackish water conditions and can do well in aquariums with salinity levels between 1.006-1.009.

Matano crabs have a red or maroon body coloration, with long and narrow claws. The claws are adorned with black stripes that look like tiny tiger stripes. These crabs have an unusually long life span for crustaceans and can live up to 8 years if given the proper care. 

Matano crabs are highly active creatures and enjoy climbing on rocks, plants, and other decorations. They also like to dig in substrate, often hiding in their burrows during the day. Although they can be pretty territorial with other aquatic animals, Matano crabs can be kept in groups with proper planning. 

These crabs are omnivores, so they require a balanced diet of plant and animal matter. Offer them a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and frozen foods, as well as high-quality prepared pellets designed explicitly for crustaceans. 

The Matano crab is ideal for those looking for an easy-to-care-for pet crab. With its unique coloration and longevity, this species will delight anyone who gives it a good home.

5. Blue Crab

One of the most popular types of crabs for pets is the Blue Crab. Native to the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of North America, these crustaceans have a vibrant blue and white carapace, making them attractive and eye-catching. Blue Crabs are known to be active, playful, and curious, and they enjoy playing in shallow water, which makes them great candidates for aquariums and other home aquatic setups. 

They also make excellent scavengers, feeding on almost anything that enters their tank. However, they are unsuitable for tanks with other fish species, as they can be aggressive toward other creatures.

6. Horseshoe Crab

Horseshoe crabs are one of the more unique types of crabs for pets. They are not true crabs but rather an ancient species of arthropod. Horseshoe crabs have a hard outer shell and ten joint legs for movement and feeding. 

They have large eyes on the top of their shells and two long antennae on the front that help them to detect food and predators. Horseshoe crabs can live in various habitats, from brackish estuaries to open ocean environments. In captivity, horseshoe crabs need a tank of at least 30 gallons, plenty of hiding places, and access to shallow water for climbing. 

They feed mainly on small fish, worms, mollusks, and crustaceans. They are not aggressive, but they should be kept away from other animals, such as shrimp and crabs, as they may try to eat them.  

Horseshoe crabs make exciting and unique pets. They require special care, however, so they are not recommended for beginners. With the proper setup and maintenance, they can be long-lived and entertain family members.

7. Rainbow Land Crab

Rainbow Land Crabs are one of the unique types of crabs for pets due to their vibrant colors. These crabs, also known as Halloween Moon Crabs, have brightly colored shells ranging from yellow to deep purple. The bright colors make them popular among those looking for an unusual and eye-catching pet crab. 

Rainbow Land Crabs can live up to 10 years in captivity and need a suitable habitat to be comfortable. As with other types of crabs for pets, Rainbow Land Crabs should be fed a variety of fresh foods, including fruits, vegetables, and commercially prepared crab food. 

They should also be provided plenty of places to hide and rest, such as tunnels and coconut husks. Rainbow Land Crabs can be happy and healthy pets with proper care and maintenance.

8. Red Claw Crabs

If you’re looking for types of crabs for pets, Red Claw Crabs may be the perfect choice for you. Red Claw Crabs are small freshwater crabs native to South America. They have a reddish-brown shell with yellow markings, which gives them their name. 

These crabs are relatively easy to care for and make great pets for experienced and novice crab keepers. When purchasing Red Claw Crabs, get them from a reputable source and research any necessary care information before bringing them home. They need a large aquarium with plenty of hiding places and filtered water low in chlorine. 

They should also be fed high-quality pellets, flakes, and occasional treats such as boiled vegetables or live food. Red Claw Crabs are very active and often climb up their aquariums’ sides, so make sure your tank is securely lidded. With the proper care, these crabs can make beautiful additions to any home.

9. Ghost Crab

Ghost Crabs are one of the unique types for pets, with their sandy-white coloration and tall spindly legs. They’re an interesting species to keep, but they’re not suitable for beginner crab keepers. Ghost Crabs need a specific humidity and temperature level to survive, and they should be kept in an enclosure at least 30 gallons in size. 

They also require a substrate that allows them to dig and burrow. These crustaceans can live up to five years in captivity when appropriately kept. Ghost Crabs are omnivores whose diet should include leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, and insects. 

They should also have a calcium supplement available at all times. Although Ghost Crabs may not be the ideal choice for beginners, they can be fun and rewarding pets for experienced crab keepers.

10. Halloween Land Crab

Halloween land crabs are one of the more exotic types of crabs for pets. They are known for their vibrant colors and spooky-looking eyes. Halloween land crabs are typically nocturnal and may be timid when you first introduce them to their new home. 

They usually reach full size, around 4-6 inches in shell width, and should be kept in a terrarium with a humid, warm environment that is kept clean. These crabs need places to hide during the day and supplemental calcium and iodine sources to help with molting. 

When caring for Halloween land crabs, remember to provide them with fish flakes, shrimp pellets, freeze-dried krill, and fresh fruit and vegetables. With the proper care and attention, Halloween land crabs can make unique and exciting pets.


When it comes to types of crabs for pets, there are many exciting and entertaining choices to consider. Depending on your particular situation, each crab species offers its unique attributes. Hermit and fiddler crabs are the most popular small pet crabs, while more prominent blue, horseshoe, and rainbow land crabs are perfect for those with more space. 

Red Claw crabs are highly social and active, while Ghost crabs provide an excellent opportunity to observe their behavior in natural settings. Whatever type of crab you choose, do plenty of research and have all the necessary supplies to keep your pet healthy and happy.

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