December 2015

December 2015

All the information listed here is based on my own experience, please carry out your own research before attempting to replicate anything on this site.


"Like a crab out of water"

When it comes to my Honduran Wood Turtle vivarium, I've always been something of a purist. The Central/South American biotope is brimming with bromeliads, philodendrons, air plants and passion flowers, all native to tropical Americas. After recently seeing a video of Andrew Stephenson's amazing tropical greenhouse, which contains a tonne of foliage and South American life, I found myself fascinated by the population of Geosesarma land crabs which seem to be thriving in there, even if they're originally from a different side of the world.

I managed to source some 'Disco Vampire' Crabs (Geosesarma cf. tiomanicum) from an exporter in Indonesia, starting with 12 mixed adults to see if I can establish a captive population amongst the roots, leaves and puddles of my Rhinoclemmys enclosure. The vivarium is very much alive with tropical woodlice (Trichorhina tomentosa), Cuban burrowing cockroaches (Byrsotria fumigata), springtails and fungi, which these crabs should be able to naturally feed on and scavenge without too much supplementation.

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Originally native to Sulawesi, these crabs inhabit ditches and humid areas of dense vegetation, although reliable information on their wild behaviours is sparse. Despite this, they are frequently imported for the aquarium trade, and in the correct environment breed readily. So far, they seem to have settled in well, spreading themselves around the 10ft enclosure, and are fascinating to watch in the evening as they become more active. The name 'Disco vampire' refers to their bright disco colours and their eerie vampire-like eyes, rather than anything blood-thirsty or sinister. It does however make them sound like something from a 'Blade' film!

The Honduran wood turtles (Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima incisa) in this enclosure certainly aren't disturbed by the addition of the crabs, and I discovered another 2 clutches of eggs this week, now leaving me with 14 eggs incubating to hatch in 2016. Hopefully next year will be as productive as this one!

Hope you all have a great New Year, if you have any questions or would like to know more, pop me an email at the address below,

Paul Edmondson

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