Do mudballs around burrows affect burrow characteristics of the fiddler crab Austruca annulipes (H. Milne Edwards, 1837) (Brachyura, Ocypodidae)?

in Crustaceana
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We examined the effects of mudballs around burrows and of sex on burrow characteristics (shape, diameter, length, depth and volume) in an underground mating fiddler crab species, Austruca annulipes (H. Milne Edwards, 1837). We investigated 35 burrows with mudballs (males: 20; females: 15) and 34 burrows without mudballs (males: 16; females: 18), and measured their burrow characteristics. Results showed that burrow characteristics did not differ between burrows with and without mudballs. Males built larger-sized burrows with greater volumes, and had more mudballs than females. Crabs built J-, I-, L-, S- and U-shaped burrows, with higher numbers of J-shaped burrows in males, and higher numbers of I-shaped burrows in females. J-shaped burrows were larger with greater volumes, and had more mudballs than I-shaped burrows. For burrows with mudballs, mudball numbers were positively associated with burrow characteristics. This indicates that fiddler crab burrow characteristics are affected by sex, not by the production and presence of mudballs.

Do mudballs around burrows affect burrow characteristics of the fiddler crab Austruca annulipes (H. Milne Edwards, 1837) (Brachyura, Ocypodidae)?

in Crustaceana



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  • View in gallery

    Destroying and arranging mudballs by Austruca annulipes (H. Milne Edwards, 1837) males around their burrows: a, destroying mudballs; and b, arranging mudballs.

  • View in gallery

    Austruca annulipes (H. Milne Edwards, 1837) male and female burrows with mudballs (white bars) and without mudballs (black and white diagonal bars): a, burrow diameter; b, burrow total length; c, burrow horizontal length; d, burrow depth; e, burrow volume. An asterisk indicates differences (P<0.001) between sexes.

  • View in gallery

    Mudball numbers and burrow characteristics of Austruca annulipes (H. Milne Edwards, 1837): a, burrow diameter; b, total burrow length; c, burrow horizontal length; d, burrow depth; e, burrow volume.

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