These little creatures got their ‘vampire’ name because of their yellow eyes and the fact that they hunt at twilight. They are nocturnal animals. Despite their name, these little guys are so adorable and cute. So cute, in fact, that with their bright yellow eyes and purple shell they don’t look like a real animal but more like a cartoon character.
This species has successfully adapted in freshwater and terrestrial habitats, totally independent of the sea. Because of their appealing color and small size, these crab species already become hot trend with people who like aquariums and terrariums. These crabs are gorgeous to look at, easy to care for, and breed readily in captivity.
Although said to be nocturnal in the wild, most of them will go out during daytime once they settled in. They require a temperature from 70-80 F, and what must be also provided is an ambient with humidity level of 70%. Heaters for terrarium attached to the tank’s sides and red light bulbs that will help you in observing your pets during night and to provide heating.
These crabs and their relatives like the moist enclosure that is well-planted, also with burrowing opportunities. Leaf litter and live carpet moss over a coconut husk substrate is the best choice. Also you can put plants like Philodendron, Chinese Evergreen, Cast Iron Plants and Pothos. Even though they are very small (only 0.8-1.3 inches in length), these active little crabs will feel better with bigger enclosure. These crabs also like to climb, so can provide them some rocks, cork, cholla wood or driftwood.
Most terrestrial crabs feed opportunistically on almost any organic material that comes along. Vampire crabs are technically omnivorous so they will eat frog or crab foods, dried crab food, freeze dried fish or frog pellets. As the copper is usually toxic to crustaceans, just stay away from food with copper in the ingredients. You can give them sometimes foods like small crickets but it is not necessary. You should give them also some vegetables, such as peas or lettuce, from time to time. Most of these crabs like food that contains mostly meat but some like to eat vegetables so you may offer them to choose. Because these crabs don’t like to move too much from their hiding spots, so a larger enclosure might be a good idea to offer food in different locations.
As they carry the eggs with them until hatched, these crabs are a lot easier to breed than other crabs that need saltwater to breed. Females like Java Moss to nest in when releasing her offspring. Breeding takes place on land but it can also occur in freshwater.
Keep the water temps in the mid 70’sF. Females will carry their egg cluster for a few weeks, and after from these eggs, about 50 to 60 young crabs will hatch. Because you can have a very large number of crabs in one breeding, be sure you know what to do with them.