May 19, 2005

Responses of the crab Heterozius rotundifrons to heterospecific chemical alarm cues: phylogeny vs. ecological overlap

Journal of Chemical Ecology
B A Hazlett, C McLay


The big-handed brachyuran crab Heterozius rotundifrons extends the time spent in its anti-predator posture, limb extended posture, if exposed to chemical cues from crushed conspecifics. In this study, we tested whether crabs also respond to chemical cues from crushed heterospecific crabs, and if so, whether phylogenetic relations or ecological overlap is more important in influencing the duration of the anti-predator posture. Chemical cues from two other brachyuran crabs (Cyclograpsus lavauxi and Hemigrapsus sexdentatus), which do not overlap directly in ecological distribution with H. rotundifrons, elicited a duration of the anti-predator posture that was indistinguishable from that produced by conspecific chemical cues. In contrast, chemical cues from two anomuran crabs (Petrolisthes elongatus and Pagurus novizealandiae) that overlap in ecological distribution with H. rotundifrons, elicited durations of the antipredator posture that were significantly shorter than those of either conspecifics or more closely related crab species. Thus, phylogenetic relationship seems to be more important than ecological overlap in influencing anti-predator behavior in H. rotundifrons.

Mentioned in this Paper

Behavior, Animal
Hemigrapsus sexdentatus
Cancer Genus
Limb Structure
Posture brand of calcium phosphate, tribasic
Cyclograpsus lavauxi
Infestation by Phthirus Pubis

About this Paper

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