How To Turn A Hermie Back Into A Female


Have you ever wondered what you would do if your beloved pet hermit crab, known as a “hermie,” suddenly transformed from a female to a male? It can be a surprising and puzzling situation for any hermie owner. But fear not, as we’re here to guide you through the process of turning a hermie back into a female. With a little understanding and patience, you can help your pet regain its original gender. Let’s get started!

Understanding Hermaphroditism in Hermit Crabs

To comprehend how a hermie can change its gender, it’s important to learn about hermaphroditism in hermit crabs. These fascinating creatures have the ability to both produce and possess male and female reproductive organs. Initially, most hermit crabs are born as males, but as they grow, some may naturally transform into females due to hormonal changes. This characteristic allows for successful reproduction within the hermit crab community.

Identifying a “Male” Hermie

If you suspect that your hermie has transformed from a female to a male, there are a few key indicators to look out for. Male hermit crabs typically possess larger claws, known as chelipeds, compared to their female counterparts. Additionally, their abdomen may appear narrower and elongated. These physical changes, along with behavioral cues such as aggressive tendencies or territorial behavior, may suggest that your hermie has transformed into a male.

The Process of Turning a Hermie Back into a Female

Now that we’re aware of the signs to look for, let’s explore the steps you can take to potentially reverse the gender change in your hermit crab. It is essential to stress that successfully turning a hermie back into a female is not guaranteed, as it depends on various factors such as the crab’s age and overall health.

1. Create a Comfortable Habitat

To provide the best possible environment for your hermie, ensure that its habitat is appropriately set up. Keep the temperature and humidity levels consistent within the recommended range, as sudden fluctuations may cause stress. A comfortable habitat promotes overall well-being and can potentially aid in any gender reversal process.

2. Offer a Balanced Diet

A nutritious diet is crucial for the health and potential hormonal changes in your hermie. Alongside commercial hermit crab food, incorporate a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and seaweed into its diet. Providing calcium-rich food sources such as cuttlebone or eggshells can also support hormonal functioning in hermit crabs.

3. Increase Social Interaction

Encourage socialization between your hermie and other hermit crabs. This can be facilitated by providing multiple hiding spots, as well as placing two or more crabs in a larger tank. Interacting with other hermit crabs may help stimulate the release of hormones that could potentially aid in gender reversal.

4. Maintain Optimal Health

Ensure that your hermie is in good health by regularly monitoring its behavior, eating habits, and physical appearance. A healthy hermit crab has a higher chance of undergoing gender reversal if it is free from infections, parasites, or any other ailments. Consult a veterinarian experienced in hermit crab care if you notice any concerns.

5. Patience and Observations

Lastly, be patient and keep a close eye on your hermie’s behavior and physical changes over time. While gender reversal can occur naturally in hermit crabs, it is a slow and gradual process. Don’t expect immediate results, as it could take months or even years for your hermie to revert to its original female gender, if at all.


Discovering that your hermit crab has undergone a gender change from female to male can be an intriguing and sometimes perplexing experience. However, armed with the knowledge and guidance provided in this article, you now have a better understanding of how to potentially turn a hermie back into a female. Remember, creating a suitable habitat, offering a nutritious diet, promoting social interaction, maintaining optimal health, and practicing patience are essential steps in supporting any potential gender reversal. Remember, the most important thing is to provide a loving and caring environment for your hermit crab, regardless of its gender.

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