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Plasticity in shell selection behaviour by the endemic hermit crab Diogenes alias (Anomura, Diogenidae) from the northeastern Arabian Sea, India

In: Crustaceana
Authors:
T. Nirmal Fisheries Resource Management Department, ICAR – Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Panch Marg, Off Yari Road Andheri (W), Mumbai – 400 061, India

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P. M. Nuzaiba Fish Physiology and Biochemistry Department, ICAR – Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Panch Marg, Off Yari Road Andheri (W), Mumbai – 400 061, India

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Alexandre R. Da Silva Universidade Estadual do Norte do Paraná – UENP, Cornélio Procópio, Paraná, Brazil

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A. Pavan Kumar Fish Genetics and Biotechnology Department, ICAR – Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Panch Marg, Off Yari Road Andheri (W), Mumbai – 400 061, India

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A. Biju Kumar Aquatic Biology and Fisheries Department, University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram – 695034, India

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G. B. Sreekanth ICAR – Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute, Old Goa, Goa, 403 402, India

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S. K. Chakraborty Fisheries Resources, Harvest and Post-Harvest Technology Division, ICAR – Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Panch Marg, Off Yari Road Andheri (W), Mumbai – 400 061, India

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B. B. Nayak Fisheries Resources, Harvest and Post-Harvest Technology Division, ICAR – Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Panch Marg, Off Yari Road Andheri (W), Mumbai – 400 061, India

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A. K. Jaiswar Fisheries Resource Management Department, ICAR – Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Panch Marg, Off Yari Road Andheri (W), Mumbai – 400 061, India

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Abstract

Selection of gastropod shells as shelter by hermit crabs in controlled experiments would provide useful information on the utility of these shells in nature. In this study, shell size and species preferences of Diogenes alias from the northeastern Arabian Sea were quantified by free choice experiments. Males of D. alias, prefer Indothais lacera and Tibia curta, when choice was given; no differences were found for other demographic groups. All hermit crabs occupied larger shells than the shells they occupied in nature. The best correlation was observed between internal volume, weight, and aperture width of the shell with the size of the hermit crab. This pattern has also been reported for other species (i.e., Clibanarius albidigitus, Calcinus tibicen, and C. obscurus). Furthermore, the present study highlights the importance of optimal resources in a scarce environment.

Résumé

La sélection des coquilles de Gastéropodes comme abri chez les bernard-l’ermite au cours d’expérimentations contrôlées pourrait fournir des informations intéressantes sur l’utilité de ces coquilles dans la nature. Dans cette étude, les préférences de taille de coquille et d’espèce chez Diogenes alias de la mer d’Arabie nord-orientale ont été quantifiées par des expérimentations de choix libre. Les mâles de D. alias préfèrent Indothais lacera et Tibia curta, quand le choix leur est offert; aucune différence n’a été trouvée pour d’autres groupes démographiques. Tous les bernard-l’ermite ont occupé des coquilles plus grandes que celles qu’ils occupent dans la nature. La meilleure corrélation a été observée entre le volume interne, le poids et la largeur de l’ouverture de la coquille avec la taille du bernard-l’ermite. Ce modèle a été aussi rapporté pour d’autres espèces (Clibanarius albidigitus, Calcinus tibicen, et C. obscurus). En outre, la présente étude souligne l’importance des ressources optimales dans un environnement pauvre.

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