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Aggressive Behavior of Trapezia intermedia Miers and T. digitalis Latreille (Brachyura: Xanthidae)

Michael E. Huber
Journal of Crustacean Biology
Vol. 7, No. 2 (May, 1987), pp. 238-248
Published by: on behalf of Crustacean Society
DOI: 10.2307/1548604
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1548604
Page Count: 11
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Aggressive Behavior of Trapezia intermedia Miers and T. digitalis Latreille (Brachyura: Xanthidae)
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Abstract

Intraspecific aggressive behavior of the xanthid crabs Trapezia intermedia and T. digitalis, both symbionts of corals, was observed in the laboratory. Intense agonism occurred in every encounter between conspecifics of the same sex, but never between members of opposite sexes, supporting the hypothesis that the strict pairing observed in these crabs is maintained by territorial aggressive behavior. Aggressive bouts typically began with a period of display which was almost invariably followed by violent fighting. Aggressive displays resembled those of other crab species, but fights were longer and more frequent, and injuries more common, than in other crabs. It is suggested that intense territorial aggression in Trapezia reflects the high degree of dependence of the crabs on the coral host.

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