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Free Content Porcellana Sayana Leach (Crustacea: Anomura) Symbiotic with Strombus Gigas (Linnaeus) (Gastropoda: Strombidae) and with Three Species of Hermit Crabs (Anomura: Diogenidae) in Barbados

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During the spring of 1976 we found the porcellanid crab Porcellana sayana Leach living inside the shells of live queen conch, Strombus gigas (Linnaeus). An estimated 80% of the conch population of Maycock's Bay, Barbados, harbored the crabs, usually only one at a time but some had two. The crabs were located on the inner surface of the operculum or close to it. When the foot was withdrawn and the operculum pulled in tightly, the crabs remained on its inner surface, fully concealed and held immovably in place. The relationship appeared to be highly specific. The S. gigas were living in the same area as the milk conch, S. costatus Gmelin but the latter species was never found to be harboring the crabs. Parcellana sayana was also found in association with three species of hermit crabs, Petrochirus diogenes (Linnaeus), Dardanus venosus (Milne-Edwards), and Paguristes grayi Benedict but only when they were resident in shells of S. gigas. Often there was more than one porcellanid associated with a hermit crab, the maximum number observed was 11. In the laboratory this particular hermit crab (P. diogenes) transferred to an empty S. gigas sbell and carried all of its porcellanid symbionts with it.

Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: January 1, 1978

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