Mark Martin on Shipping Hermit Crabs and Snails Moist
Mark Martin is Director of Marine Ornamental Research at Blue Zoo
|The Blue Leg Hermit Crab is Shipped Moist.
I recently got an e-mail from a first-time customer asking why we ship hermit crabs and snails the way we do, and I thought I'd take this opportunity to answer that question here.
As anyone who has purchased hermit crabs or snails from us knows, these animals usually arrive in a bag with a moist paper towel instead of in a bag full of water. Is this simply because it costs us less to ship them that way since a bag with a moist towel weighs less than a bag of water? Well we won't deny that we like the savings, but the reality is that we do it in the animals' best interest.
These animals are found in tidal zones, and, as such, they are used to being exposed to air for long periods during low tide. Each has its own way of dealing with "dry" conditions, but rest assured that they all cope quite well with being shipped in this manner. In fact, we ship them moist primarily for the safety of the animal. Hermits and snails are always shipped with multiple animals in each bag (when we receive turbo snails, for instance, they come to us with 250 snails per bag, moist packed). Because each animal can add waste to the bag, if there is water present, that water will quickly become toxic to the animal. As a result, it is better to ship these animals with a moist paper towel instead of in water...
...oh yea, and it is more economical.
Have a question for Mark? Please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published 10 June 2008. © Blue Zoo Aquatics