Half-Moulted Leg and Shell Abandonment

Questions about hermit crabs that abandoned their shell.
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raginggnome
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Half-Moulted Leg and Shell Abandonment

Post by raginggnome »

This is a dual problem, couldn't decide if I should post it in moulting or streaking, so I chose streaking.

So a crab of mine just finished a moult, and her far right leg looks like it only half-moulted, which is to say it's discolored and jutting off in the wrong direction, away from her body, as though the exoskeleton came half off and just stayed like that. She's been fine for the last couple days, just chilling in her secluded corner eating her old exo... until...

This morning I wake up extremely early for work, and I see her shell is empty. I'm a little excited at first, figuring she chose a newer, better fitting shell. Then I see her, in the other corner of the habitat, totally nude and disfigured.

Is it possible that her leg is preventing a shell from fitting properly? Should I try to intervene or leave her alone? I'm almost positive that this is the same crab that once got her shell stolen from her mid-moult and sat in the water dish with neither shell nor exo until I presented an extra large shell to her, which she quickly rushed into. Clearly she's had a couple of traumatizing moult experiences.

Thanks for any advise or info.
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~Sonic and Rizzo, the Ecuadorian Brothers, will always be missed. So went Scuttle into the great Crabitat in the sky.
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Re: Half-Moulted Leg and Shell Abandonment

Post by Wai »

Sorry for the late reply. Is the moulter isolated? If not, you should move her immediately away from the others as any surface moulter is a sitting duck waiting to be attacked. Has she shed the leg off yet? Usually if they have trouble shedding a limb, they will just drop the limb altogether. How close is she to finish hardening?
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Re: Half-Moulted Leg and Shell Abandonment

Post by ladybug15057 »

If you can move her to iso, please take some of the substrate and a hut from the main tank that has a familiar scent to her so not to stress her any further. For now (at least a day or two) the best one can do is keep her safe and make sure the tank perimeters are in order as well as offer plenty of shells.
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Re: Half-Moulted Leg and Shell Abandonment

Post by raginggnome »

Unfortunately I don't have the resources available to isolate her, though she's in a fairly isolated corner of the tank. I can't quite gauge how far along she is, though the new exo looks fairly close to hard, and since I just got home from work I see she's back in her shell, can't get a look at the leg, but I see now that her claw looks somewhat distorted and her legs are oddly arranged in her shell, like someone carelessly stuffed her in there, perhaps she just didn't have the energy to tuck all the way in. She is a very hardy crab, one of my oldest and largest, and has had many successful moults before, with only the other problem I mentioned in my first post. Heck, if she can make it through that I suspect she can make it through anything, I'm just concerned. The primary reason I posted was because I was worried about the leg, but it seems that's not terribly uncommon so perhaps I shouldn't get too worried about it.
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Re: Half-Moulted Leg and Shell Abandonment

Post by raginggnome »

Upon further review it seems that rather than an attached moulted leg bit, both of her right legs are actually jutting out away from her body, as if broken (mis-shaped). Very odd.

Status: Still secluded within same habitat as other crabs, in favorite shell, with 3 other shells nearby.
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Re: Half-Moulted Leg and Shell Abandonment

Post by Wai »

It doesn't look normal, but I guess there's not much you can do but to keep supporting her until she hardens and recovers.
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Re: Half-Moulted Leg and Shell Abandonment

Post by ladybug15057 »

IMO from the picture it looks as though this hermie is still stuck in most of her exo? This is not a picture of a healthy hermie. From what I can see it looks like only the ends and her large pincher have shed? With the hermie being possibly mid, or molting why is there another hermie right next to her?
Looking back I see you had a naked molter in Sept.? I could not find where the questions in the white box have been copied and pasted and answered?
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Re: Half-Moulted Leg and Shell Abandonment

Post by raginggnome »

Ladybug: She was in fact completely moulted, and that is not another hermit next to her, it is an empty shell with a bit of old exo next to it, so yeah it kind of looks like another crab. It's not - promise.

Anyway, to update you all, she's moved around a bit, and seems sad, but not so unhealthy that I fear for her life. She'll get through this, she just needs to adapt to her new unfortunate circumstances. I see one or two of her antennae are bent as well, one badly, the rest are probably ok. Anyone know if that's a serious issue? If a crab can regrow a leg, I'm assuming one antenna should be no problem . . .
~Dr. Zoidberg~Mr. Krabs~Cloyster~Slurm~Barbados Slim~Citizen Snips
~Sonic and Rizzo, the Ecuadorian Brothers, will always be missed. So went Scuttle into the great Crabitat in the sky.
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Re: Half-Moulted Leg and Shell Abandonment

Post by ZuZu »

I know this is a little late, but I feel I have something to contribute:
at one point maybe a year ago, my crab shyguy had lost one of his antenna, it was one of the short ones. He was lopsided so the rest of him kina drooped to one side. his eye drooped , and he walked funny. well a few months later he molted. and when he came back up ^ he had a new antenna! true it was smaller than the other but the main thing was that he was ok, and happy. Now he has gone to molt again and I suspect that his antenna will be fully normal and funct. this time around. :P
so I dont think that you have to worry about her missing antenna, It'll prob be fixed in the next molt ^-^*
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