The Staghorn Hermit (Manucomplanus varians) is a relatively deeper water hermit crab that is moderately hardy. It will scavenge in your aquarium, and clean detritus. What makes this hermit crab unique is its relationship with the hydroid Janarua mirabilis, which resembles and behaves like a coral. This hydroid will settle on shells inhabited by the Staghorn Hermit, or the hermit will attach a piece to the shell they are inhabiting. Over time, the hydroid consumes the shell with enzymes, while growing out in an antler-like formation; giving this hermit crab its other common name, the Antler Hermit Crab. This hydroid is classified as a hydrocoral, because it has a calcareous skeleton and contains photosynthetic zooxanthellae like a coral does. In captivity it will consume small particulate food suitable for non photosynthetic gorgonians, and low to medium intensity light.
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