The Occurrence of Pugettia Richii (Crustacea: Decapoda) on Cystoseira Osmundacea Follows a Diel Pattern
The occurrence of the spider crab Pugettia richii on the kelp Cystoseira osmundacea was studied in Monterey Bay, California. The number of crabs per plant between 9 PM and 3 AM is twice that between 5 AM and 7 PM. The nightly increase has two peaks, at 20% and 70% of the period of activity, with males making a greater contribution than females. Large males climb onto the higher reproductive portion, while females tend to remain on the lower vegetative portion. P. richii shows a preference for thicker growing C. osmundacea, but does not remain on a particular plant. While on the plant, P. richii eats C. osmundacea. The nocturnal habit of P. richii may have evolved as a (fish) predator avoidance mechanism.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1982-01-01
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