The shell-acquisition behaviour of the bivalve-using hermit crab Porcellanopagurus nihonkaiensis Takeda, 1985 (Decapoda, Anomura, Paguroidea)

in Crustaceana
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Almost all species of hermit crabs inhabit dead gastropod shells; however, species of some genera have evolved to inhabit bivalve or patelliform shells. It has been assumed that these species carry their shells using uropodal rasps and the hooked dactyls of their fourth pereopods, although no detailed description of the shell acquisition behaviour of those species has previously been documented. We have therefore observed the shell acquisition behaviour of Porcellanopagurus nihonkaiensis Takeda, 1985, which was collected by dredge at Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Our observation suggests that the shell is fixed in place by only the uropodal rasps in combination with hydrostatic pressure in the telson.

The shell-acquisition behaviour of the bivalve-using hermit crab Porcellanopagurus nihonkaiensis Takeda, 1985 (Decapoda, Anomura, Paguroidea)

in Crustaceana



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  • View in gallery

    The bivalve-shell using hermit crab species Porcellanopagurus nihonkaiensis Takeda, 1985 (female, SL = 2.5 mm). Scale = 1 mm.

  • View in gallery

    The behavioural sequence of the shell acquisition process of Porcellanopagurus nihonkaiensis; (a-c), the crab approached and grasped the shell by chelipeds and pereopods; (d-f), the crab turned the shell over and then the crab placed the shell on the dorsal side of its carapace; (g-h), the crab released the shell from the fifth pereopods and held the shell only by the fourth pereopods. The white arrows indicate the position of the fourth pereopods and the striped arrows indicate the position of the fifth pereopods.

  • View in gallery

    Ventral side of Porcellanopagurus nihonkaiensis Takeda, 1985 (Anomura, Paguridae). The white arrow indicates that the limpet shells was held by using the uropodal rasps. Scale = 1 mm.


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