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Observations on the agonistic behavior of the swimming crab Charybdis longicollis Leene infected by the rhizocephalan barnacle Heterosaccus dollfusi Boschma

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Abstract:



The effects of the invasive rhizocephalan parasite Heterosaccus dollfusi on the agonistic behavior of the invasive swimming crab Charybdis longicollis were quantitatively analyzed under standardized conditions. The behavior of uninfected male crabs contained more aggressive elements than that of uninfected females. In encounters between infected males, markedly fewer and less aggressive elements were displayed than in encounters between uninfected males, whereas in encounters between infected females, more aggressive elements were displayed than in encounters between uninfected females. It is suggested that the presence of the parasite reduces belligerence in male crabs, possibly to avoid injury and to enhance the life expectancy of host and parasite.

Les effets d'Heterosaccus dollfusi, un parasite rhizocéphale envahissant, sur le comportement agonistique du crabe nageur envahissant Charybdis longicollis ont été soumis à une analyse quantitative dans des conditions contrôlées. Les crabes mâles sains montrent plus d'éléments d'un comportement agressif que les femelles saines. Les rencontres entre mâles infectés comptent moins d'éléments de comportement agressif et l'agressivité y est moins intense qu'au cours de rencontres entre des mâles sains. Les femelles infectées montrent plus d'éléments de comportement agressif les unes envers les autres que les femelles saines entre elles. Il apparaît donc que la présence du parasite rend les crabes mâles moins belligérants, peut-être pour éviter les blessures et pour améliorer l'espérance de vie des parasites et de leurs hôtes.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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