View Full Version : DR. ROY! O. Hav molted. Is now reclusive.

Mr. Manty
07/17/2017, 04:52 PM
My O. Hav molted successfully 2 nights ago. Threw his molt outside of his burrow and i took it out after about 12 hours.

Now he has retreaed suddenly into his burrow and is unresponsive to any sticks or movement outisde of his burrow. I can barely seem him and he will rotate occasionally.

Why would he be guarding the entrance yesterday, close it for the night, and then open it only to stay inside, unresponsive to outside stimuli?

Mr. Manty
07/17/2017, 07:23 PM
Now after turning the lights off for an hour he darted out and swam sporadically, bumping into a bunch of stuff and occasionally curling into a ball.

07/17/2017, 08:28 PM
they need time for their shells to harden after they molt. they will be hiding and biding heir time during that.
Also, either pm Dr. Caldwell or just put out a general question for the forum, this isnt a Q&A thread for Dr. Caldwell

Mr. Manty
07/18/2017, 05:20 AM
I understand hiding, but why has he now moved into a less sheltered gap under another piece of rock? I guess it his him beginning to look for a new burrow like Roy has stated.

I chose to post the question here as the point of a forum is for multiple people other than yourself benefitting from the answers to your queston. Dr. Caldwell's answer does others no good locked away in my inbox.

07/18/2017, 09:08 AM
In contrast to gonodactylids, Odontodactylus often don't close up their burrows when molting.. I suspect this is so that they can keep a watch out for intruders that might trap them in their burrow.

If your aquarium is stable and large enough to handle some decomposition of the molt skin, it is probably not a good idea to remove it. Within hours of molting, O. havanensis carry their molt skin a foot or two away from their burrow and bury it. They then return in a day or two and eat the less calcified parts. I had seen this behavior in the aquarium but didn't know if it was an artifact of captivity. Then on one of our Aquarius missions I placed a video camera recording the activity of an O. havanensis. As luck would have it, half way into the mission the animal molted and we recorded it carrying its molt skin about 18 inches away from the burrow entrance and burying it. It returned two days later and dug up pieces of the molt sken and carried them back to the burrow where I assumed it ate the. The was exactly the same behavior that we had seen in the lab. I'm amazed that they are able to pick up the skin a bury it so soon after molting.


Mr. Manty
07/18/2017, 09:15 AM
Oh okay i see. Would it be silly to place the molt back in? I still have it dried out.

What would explain his behavior of curling up under an adjacent rock away from his burrow? He appears stressed and motionless

07/18/2017, 09:31 AM
I wouldn't put the molt skin back in.

I don't know why it left the burrow. Stressed animals often exit their burrow or cavity when stressed.


Mr. Manty
07/18/2017, 12:12 PM
I will will continue to leave him be then. I hope he will not become part of the sensitive havanensis statistic.

Thank you so much for the help, again. I feel so lucky having the ear of an expert with such an unusual passion.