I love that first pic!
Such big pupils yours have, mine have very tiny pupils. It may be my lights are just too bright, I need to get some big leaf plants to create shade. Can you show the backs of yours in brighter light they look like they might be non-standard purples which is of course way cool! Here is the panzerwelten Geosesarma crab photo galleries helpful to try and find out what you have: http://www.panzerwelten.de/v/Geosesarma/
My guess from your pics is that you actually have the Geosesarma sp. "blue" and not the standard vampire crab (G. biciolor) since it doesn't look like yours have an orange or yellow blotch on their backs.
Here's one of my reds plotting his next move:
Hopefully you will get babies. I'm checking all the time to see if I can find babies or "jelly bellies" (egg sack) on the females. Supposedly the litters are as high as 40 "pups" most of who will survive if pulled out of the communal enclosure and raised individually to ensure adequate feeding and non-aggression from tank mates. My red species supposedly do not carry their young around on their backs like the purples and orange do. If you see yours with a "baby wig" just capture the mother and put her in a nearly empty tank until she releases the young. Babies of mine will simply have to be discovered by sheer dumb luck! LOL
Have you found some good online forums for the Vampire Crabs (Geosesarma sp.)? I have only found these two:
You have to type the Panzerwelten URL into google and read it via translation unless you read German. It's kind of weird reading translated posts but you get the drift of what people are saying, sometimes it just makes you laugh though with the word substitutions. But the Germans have been keeping these longer than Americans so they have some good reading material there. You can make a post in English and Oliver (site admin) will answer you as well as those who read English will often help. Both are good forums, but the main thing is these crabs are so new people really don't know a lot about them. Seems each color form / species has different habits. There are estimated about 90 different Geosesarma species in SE Asia only a few of which are available and even fewer of which are even scientifically described and officially named. Mine are known only as "Geosesarma sp. "Red""
What are you feeding yours? Mine get a rotation of the following:
Live & dead crickets
Isopods / Sow Bugs / Rolly Pollies / Pill Bugs
Dead Blue Bottle Flies
freeze dried Gemmarus shrimp rehydrated in water
defrosted mysis shrimp
Tropical fish flakes
I've seen them carrying dried oak leaf litter around and into their burrows so they may be padding their burrows or eating it, they often take their food into their burrow and eat so who knows what's going on in there. Autopsies on wild crabs found that 77% of their gut content was the substrate they were living on.
I've tried non-citrus fruits but so far they don't want strawberries or cherries
Last edited by swords; 07-19-2010 at 04:27 AM.
I think you are right. I just lookedand they don't have the orange and yellow blotches. I thought it was because they were just new.My guess from your pics is that you actually have the Geosesarma sp. "blue" and not the standard vampire crab (G. biciolor) since it doesn't look like yours have an orange or yellow blotch on their backs.
I haven't really fed mine since they just got here. I fed them shrimp pelletes but I do't think they like it. I'll try crickets and frozen bloodworms.
That's great if you have the blue sp. all the rarer! How big are yours? Full grown Geos get about 5 cm / 2 in. leg tip to leg tip.
Make sure the crickets are small 1/2" or less since their claws can't open very wide. I get the small size at petco and petsmart. If the crickets are too big I grab them with the feeding tongs and squish them. I hate to do that but then they aren't jumping when the crabs eat them. I rehydrate all freeze dried food in a tiny cup of r/o water and they seem to like that better than dried stuff. Supposedly peas, broccoli and cocktail shrimps are good too but I haven't tried them yet.
Last edited by swords; 07-19-2010 at 11:44 AM.
I think they are around 1.5".
I just got some crickets for them but i might put them in the fridge to slow them down. The vampire crabs are definetely hard to find, but I spot them all. They have their favorite places to hide.
And that's where they'll stay! LOLThey have their favorite places to hide.
I've never seen all of mine out at once. I searched real hard once and spotted six - the other 4 were who knows where.
How many did you buy? Have you lost any yet from sudden death? I lost one 12 hours after unpacking them, I had just taken his pic and when I next checked on him he was face down in the little pool. I found another one dead last week with no injuries, the seller told me it was not uncommon to loose 20-30% when they are acclimating to captivity. I hate that but I guess if you can get them breeding the babies are said to be hardy and not as stressed out as the WC imports.
The crabs may not be hungry when you fed them so slowing the crickets down might not be worth the effort, they'll warm up quick again but the crabs have no problem catching the small ones, mine are lightening fast when they want to be. I put 6-12 small crickets in their tank - you can dust with calcium on occasion so they get some extra calcium in their diet. I also put a few broken up cuttle fish bone pieces in the tank, they will scrape on it and eat the tiny grains. You can also put wet food on it (defrosted bloodworms) and they may glean a bit of calcium from the wet worms sitting on it.
Last edited by swords; 07-20-2010 at 03:40 AM.
I've never had that happen to any of my terrariums. Any damage the crickets may possibly do is negligible, they aren't in the tank long enough. I keep all my feeders well fed so they are not starving mad when they go into the enclosure and only add as many feeders as you think they will eat. I gut load with high protein ground dry cat food and have a bowl of watersorb.com water crystals for them to hydrate on. This feed seems to reduce incidence of cannibalism in the cricket bin as well.but I dont' want the crickets eating my plants
If you're really worried about cricket damage you can freeze them, just put them, in the freezer and warm them back up in a small cup of water as you need them. They'll be dead and the crabs will still eat them even if they aren't moving (unlike many lizards), the crabs are scavengers as well as hunters. I think they like to catch their food, it seem to get mine out of hiding more. With dead food in a predictable location they don't seem to come out as often.