Reproductive Behavior of the Hermit Crab Clibanarius Vittatus (Bosc, 1802)
The precopulatory behavior patterns of the common intertidal hermit crab Clibanarius vittatus are described. Males precopulatory movements involve rotation of the female with the ambulatory legs and tapping lightly with one or both chelipeds in the aperture of the female's shell. Bouts of these courtship patterns alternate with period of guarding in which the female is held by the male's ambulatory legs with her shell aperture against the substrate. Females that copulated were not soft from a recent moult and brought out a new batch of eggs in less than an hour following copulation. Male-male competition for access to females was intense. The results of experiments demonstrated that courted females give off a pheromone that stimulates male reproductive activity. Males occupying the sinistrally-spiralled shells of Busycon contratrium (Conrad, 1840) were at a distinct disadvantage in obtaining matings.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: May 1, 1996
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