Crabs may not seem like the obvious choice for a pet, but these fascinating creatures have a lot to offer. The 5,000 different species of crab vary hugely in size and habits and some of them make great pets. Crabs are best kept in a tank which will need to be big enough for the species you select. Most crabs are omnivores, so are easy to feed on a diet of fish, fruit, vegetables and insects. You can also buy commercial crab food.
Rainbow land crab and Halloween land crab
As the name suggests, these two species live mostly on the land. They are both brightly coloured and visually stunning, the rainbow crab being purple, blue, orange and cream and the Halloween crab having a black body, orange legs and purple markings. They will need a tank with both a water and a land area. They don’t grow very large so will only need a small tank, but they will be happiest if kept in pairs.
There are 90 species of fiddler crab which are mostly found in the wild in the inter-tidal zone of ocean beaches. The males have one large claw, making them quite distinctive. Although they are small, only growing to about two inches across, they do need access to salt water which makes them more challenging to care for. You will need to add aquarium salt to their water and the levels must be carefully controlled.
Land hermit crab
Found on the shores of the Caribbean, these small crabs make fascinating pets. The hermit crab does not produce its own shell as other crabs do, but moves into a vacant shell when it needs a change. You will need to provide your hermit crab with a variety of shells to choose from, as well as a layer of wet, calcium-rich sand to burrow into.
If you fancy a pair of mysterious yellow eyes glowing at you from the tank, this is the crab for you. Hailing from Indonesia, this stunning freshwater land crab is a beautiful purple colour. Like other land crabs, it will need both water and land areas in its tank.