Tetiaroa Society


OK, so WHAT is going on here?

Hermit crabs are scavengers and eat a variety of plant and animal material. They seem remarkably cognizant of the world around them, and in fact use a keen sense of smell to locate food. They also watch each other and follow the crowd to potential food sources.

So why are they up there? There are a reasonable number of hypotheses for this behavior, but no definitive answers. They could be up there to eat fresh leaves. They could also be feeding on bark or something growing on the bark. It could be a social behavior that gets them all up there. Maybe they are gathering to mate? Hermit crabs spend a lot of their time looking and competing for new, larger shells, so maybe it is about that. Or it could be a reaction to the weather, or a big swell on the way.

The fact is we do not know what is going on, and for the moment though only the Strawberry Hermit Crabs know what gets them up in the trees.