Coenobita violascens, popularly known as the Violet Hermit Crab or Viola, is a stunning and less-common pet choice. In its youth, this crab possesses a beautiful red and orange exoskeleton, maturing to captivating shades of purple, blue, brown, or even black as it matures. The violet hermit crab has a specialized predatory claw, an adaptation hinting at their slightly carnivorous dietary preference. Unlike many of their crab cousins, they have a penchant for animal-based proteins, actively hunting isopods in their enclosure. This love for meat means they’ll appreciate regular offerings of seafood, insects, and even fresh or dried meats as part of a diversified diet. Viola hermit crabs are vocal little creatures. From chirping youngsters to equally chatty adults, they’re not just vocal when distressed but seem to use their chirps as a general means of communication. These beauties can be quite shy, often preferring to stay hidden when humans are nearby. But with a little patience and a well-structured habitat, you can encourage them to be more interactive. Offering a tank environment that simulates an undergrowth with ample leaf litter, dense foliage, and branches can help these crabs feel secure. Given that they’re adept climbers and diggers, providing them with ample opportunities to explore vertically and burrow can make for a happier, more active crab. Interestingly, Violas have a peculiar shell preference. It’s not uncommon to find younger ones occupying overly long shells, navigating expertly despite the seemingly “wasted” space. They also lean towards cone-shaped shells like landsnails and whelks. These are social animals that must be kept in groups of at least two to prevent them from becoming depressed.