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Free Content Xanthidae of Ifaluk Atoll, Caroline Islands, Collected in 1953 by D. P. Abbott and F. M. Bayer with Special Reference to Coral Commensals

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Although the collection of xanthid crabs obtained by D. P. Abbott and F. M. Bayer at Ifaluk Atoll contained less than 40 species, it was remarkable in including an almost complete suite of obligate coral commensals of the genera Trapezia and Tetralia, although the represcntation of Cymo and Domecia was less complete. This was due to the extensive collecting of living corals by Bayer and their segregation by species. Host preference of Trapezia species for pocilloporid corals and of Tetralia species for acroporid corals was upheld, although evidence concerning host preference of Cymo and Domecia species was inconclusive. From numerous washings of dead coral and algae by Abbott a complete suite of Chlorodiella species was obtained, and the existence of a core of xanthid genera, among them Chlorodiella, Paraxanthias, Phymodius, and Pilodius, serving as facultative symbionts of corals and algae was demonstrated. Large xanthids from beach rock, such as Eriphia, Etisus, Leptodius, and Xantho, were not represented in the Ifaluk collection; otherwise, it compares well with collections made later at Enewetak in the Marshall Islands, allowing for certain substitutions. The coral reef habitat and its associated infauna extends throughout the Indo-west Pacific, and several of its commensal crabs occur in the eastern Pacific also, when preferred host corals occur.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1989-09-01

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