Is it a boy or a girl?

I get asked this a lot! How do I tell if my hermit crab is a boy or a girl? If you have a cooperative crab and quick reflex you should be able to figure it out. Your crabby needs to be willing to extend far enough out of their shell so that you can check the underside. On the 3rd set of legs look for two tiny pinholes, called gonopores. If you see them, it’s a girl. No openings and it’s a boy. Male gonopores are located on the coxae of the 5th set of walking legs.

Under no circumstances should you EVER EVER try to pull your hermit crab from it’s shell!!

Male Hermit Crab:

Female Hermit Crab:


  1. You will have to be clever and trick it into showing you. If you can place some netting or similar item on the front of your tank and then wait for the hermit crab to crawl up on it, you might be able to get a peek underneath. If your hermit crab seems to be the grabby sort, sometimes you can hold a pencil out in front of them and they will reach out to get it. You have to be fast and look underneath! If your crab is in a shell that is too small, you might be able to see by simply putting the crab down upside down and when it pops out to flip over you might catch a glimpse.


  2. mine is a girl i finally found out she came out just enough for me to see i was suprised to see that i thought it was a boy thanx i can rename her now. her name was hermit so now it is shelly

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