Burrow excavation and mudballing behaviour of the fiddler crab Uca annulipes (H. Milne Edwards, 1837) from southern Thailand

in Crustaceana
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We video-recorded and examined the burrow building behaviour of small and large males and females of Uca annulipes (H. Milne Edwards, 1837). Males took a longer time than females, and larger crabs took a longer time than smaller ones, to build burrows. Higher numbers of mudballs were excavated from inside the burrows during the build of the burrows by males than by females, and by larger crabs than by smaller ones. Crab carapace width was positively correlated with the time required to build burrows, and with the number of mudballs excavated from inside the burrows during the build of these burrows. We observed that 82% of the females placed the mudballs near their burrow entrance, whereas 85% of the males placed the mudballs far from their burrow entrance. After building the burrows, 71% of the females went inside the burrow and plugged the burrow entrance, and 90% of the males foraged for food.


International Journal of Crustacean Research



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  • Placing excavated mudballs by Uca annulipes (H. Milne Edwards, 1837): a-b, near the burrow entrance by: a, females; and b, males; and, c-d, far from the burrow entrance by: c, females; and, d, males.

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  • Sex, body size, time to build burrows, and mudball excavation in Uca annulipes (H. Milne Edwards, 1837): a, burrow building time (min); and, b, the number of excavated mudballs in large (white bars) and small (grey bars) males and females; ∗∗∗, indicates differences (P<0.001) between sexes.

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  • Body size, time to build borrows, and mudball excavation in Uca annulipes (H. Milne Edwards, 1837): a-b, time (min) taken to build burrows in: a, males; and, b, females; and, c-d, the number of mudballs excavated for building burrows in: c, males; and, d, females.

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