Do hermit crabs make noise

Do hermit crabs make noise?

Hermit crabs are pretty peaceful marine crustaceans that every other aquarist and sealife lover wants to keep in their favorite tank. Hermit crabs make up a fascinating environment in the aquariums. These unique creatures always capture our curiosity, prompting the question: “Do hermit crabs make noise?”

Hermit crabs do make noises, especially at night. However, most of their noses are typically not audible to the human ear. They produce soft chirping sounds as a form of communication using specialized structures. Also, Hermies make noises like a kind of cricket or croaking. They’ll croak at you if you disturb them.

Sounds fascinating, isn’t it? If you are a hermit crab enthusiast and want to learn more about hermit crabs’ unique behavior of sounds, follow the footprints of this guide. I’m going to explore this topic on a deeper level that will captivate the attention of every reader. Let’s dig in!

Do hermit crabs make noise?

Surprisingly Yes! Hermit crabs do make noise, and they do talk. Interestingly, hermit crabs make cricket or croaking sounds, especially at night time. More specifically, they make croak noises whenever someone tries to move them when they are not in the mood to move to another place.

So, hermit crabs know how to say, “Leave me alone!” Simply, they don’t like it if you try to disturb them. Many researchers and aquarists list them in the category of “agitated crabs,” but I don’t think so because they are not agitated.

Furthermore, hermit crabs have a nocturnal nature, and they just want to sleep. That’s why they make noises if someone indulges in their privacy. In the wild, you’ll hardly see a hermit crab living and moving alone, except if that crab is looking for food or left alone. They like to live in the form of clusters and sleep at the top of each other.

Fun Fact!

If you ever find a Hermit Crab in the wild, don’t panic due to their noises. They often get excited after seeing someone new in their territory and take the humans as their new friends. As a result, they may start talking to you in their language.

Why do hermit crabs make noises?

Hermit Crabs have a hidden talent for making noises. Their sounds play a crucial role in communication and behaviors. Here are a few common reasons why hermit crabs make noise:

  1. Communication and Social Interaction:

Hermit crabs use their chirping, croaking, and cricket-like sounds as a means of communication with fellow crabs. These types of subtle noises are often part of their social interactions. Moreover, these sounds help them establish territories, signal mating interests, or convey other important messages in their community.

  1. Mating Rituals:

During the mating season, hermit crabs intensify their vocalizations. Their particular sounds serve as an essential element in their mating rituals. Their sounds help them attract their potential mates. Plus, the specific tendencies, patterns, and frequencies of these vocals help find compatibility and signal reproductive readiness.

  1. Defense Mechanism:

The defense mechanism is the foremost important reason why hermies make louder and louder sounds. In certain situations, hermit crabs use their sounds as a defense mechanism. When threatened or feeling territorial pressure, these tiny creatures emit louder or more rapid chirps to ward off potential threats. So, this defensive communication helps establish boundaries and avoid unnecessary conflicts.

  1. Identifying Each Other:

Each hermit crab has a unique sound and smell profile. It allows individuals to identify with one another within their community. In this way, they avoid confusion and establish a sense of familiarity among group members. Overall, it contributes to a more cohesive and organized social structure.

  1. Environmental Adaptation:

In response to environmental changes, hermit crabs know how to modify their chirping patterns. These adaptations often indicate their ability to acclimate to new conditions. This shows their resilience and capacity to adjust to varying factors such as temperature, humidity, or food availability.

In addition to the reasons mentioned above, navigation through the darkness (as a form of echolocation), expressing contentment and pleasure, and coordination in group activities are also why hermit crabs make soft or sharp noises.

Related article: Do hermit crab pinches hurt?

How do hermit crabs make noises?

According to the study of Discovery of Sound in the Sea Organization, Hermit crabs use various methods to produce sounds. Here are a few mechanisms through which hermit crabs generate sounds:

  1. Stridulation with Chelae:

Marine hermit crabs mostly make noises through stridulation. This method involves the rubbing of their body parts against each other, particularly the chelae or claws. As they withdraw into their shells during defense, the scraping of claws produces distinctive chirping sounds with frequencies around 6 to 8 kHz.

  1. Internal Stridulation in Terrestrial Hermit Crabs:

In a unique twist, terrestrial & semi-terrestrial hermit crabs have internal stridulatory structures. These cute crabs can produce sounds with the help of rubbing internal teeth in their guts. Moreover, this internal stridulation allows them to produce sounds during aggressive interactions, complementing their visual displays and aggressive attacks using their claws.

  1. Rapping in Semi-Terrestrial Hermies:

Certain semi-terrestrial hermit crabs produce sounds by rapping a body part against the substrate. This involves hitting the ground with claws or striking body parts against the substrate. For example, male hermit crabs produce rapping sounds with one or both claws. They start drumming with both claws. This method contributes to their communication during displays or interactions.

Guess what? Here is the YouTube video footage of a little hermit crab making chirping sounds: Source

Important Note:

All hermit crabs do not make sounds, but most are attention seekers. However, how much they make sounds depends on how big they are and how many of them you keep in your aquarium beside your bed.

Big guys occasionally like to knock stuff (like decors, rocks, etc.) around them at night. These sounds can disturb your sleeping patterns. So, make sure your favorite hermit crab likes to live in a quiet place.


  1. Can hermit crabs hear me?

Yes, hermit crabs can hear you, but they can’t comprehend what you are saying. Although I have heard many stories where the owners have said that their hermit crabs can listen to and comprehend their voices, the researchers do not discuss their hearing behavior.

Interestingly, studies say that hermit crabs lack eardrums. Do you know what it means? It means they cannot hear, just like humans and other animals with ears. However, hermit crabs have a basic means of “hearing” and can detect frequencies, tones, and lengths of a particular sound.

  1. Is hermit crab chirping bad?

No, hermit crab chirping is not bad at all. Mostly, they chirp when they get irritated or feel unrest. Otherwise, they chirp without any solid reason, just like a cat who meows and meows without any cause.

  1. Why do my hermit crabs start chirping?

According to the report of Crab Street Journal, here are a few examples of why hermit crabs start chirping:

  • When the sleeping patterns of hermit crabs are disturbed, they start chirping with the help of their four rear legs.
  • If you change the habitat of hermit crabs (or move them from one place to another), they chirp.
  • If any other tank mate tries to climb on the shells or heads of hermit crabs, they start chirping.
  • Hermit crabs like darkness and nighttime. So, when you turn ON bright lights in or around their tanks, they chirp to convey their message.
  • Hermit crabs usually chirp when you take away their favorite food from them, especially when they are busy eating that food.
  1. Should I be worried about the chirping and scratching sounds of hermit crabs?

No! There is nothing to worry about: the chirping and scratching sounds of hermit crabs. You can come closer to them to see them, and they will stop making sounds. This is their natural behavior at night. However, ensure that the pH level of the water, temperature of their tank, and the humidity level are according to their needs.

Plus, malnutrition is another reason behind their way of producing strange murmuring sounds. So, give them enough food that contains proteins, calcium, and magnesium. Last but not least, offer them extra shells and personal space to let them live their lives happily.

  1. Does noise affect the health of hermit crabs?

Yes! Noise affects the health of hermit crabs. They feel distressed. For example, loud music in our homes bothers them mildly.

Wrapping – Up:

So, our fascinating guide about “Do hermit crabs make noise?” concludes that hermit crabs make clicking and rattling sounds. Their voices sound like a creaky bed, croaking frog, chirping bird, and squeaky door hinge. They make more sounds when fighting, and their shells bump into each other.

If your aquarium is near your bed or next to your room, reconsider before putting a few hermit crabs in your tank. Especially the bigger ones make more noise when their shells collide with the hard surfaces of the tank. Their chirping and squeaky sounds can become quite disturbing for you.

I hope you find it interesting to learn more about hermit crabs and their unique style of making distinct sounds. Do your hermies make friendly sounds when you hold them in your hands? Share your experience in the comments section!