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Free Content Reproductive behavior of the play-dead hairy Pilumnus vespertilio (Crustacea: Brachyura: Pilumnidae) with respect to carapace size

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Mating behavior, size-related copulation and temporal distribution of copulating pairs and ovigerous females of Pilumnus vespertilio (Fabricius, 1793) were observed in the wild. Copulation in P. vespertilio took place above ground level at the burrow entrances of female crabs, with the pair in a sitting position slightly inclined toward the male's body. Mating and copulation occurred during full moon low tides when individuals were most active. Searching for female burrows and waiting at the female's burrow entrance, are the initial reproductive behaviors shown by males of P. vespertilio. No post-copulatory behaviors are observed on this species. Males copulated with females of all sizes, but only the medium-sized females became ovigerous earlier than the larger and smaller females. Males waited for a preferred mating partner at the female's burrow entrance to harbor other males from copulating. However, the males also copulated with small females, so long as the females are reproductively attractive, to maximize fertilization.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2001

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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