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A Dominance Order for Shelter in the Spiny Lobster Jasus Lalandei (H. Milne-Edwards)

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Aggressive behaviour related to obtaining and retaining shelter, and development of a dominance order for shelter is described for the spiny lobster Jasus lalandei (H. Milne-Edwards). Limited shelter is occupied quickly, with the end result that dominant animals occupy available shelter to the exclusion of less dominant ones. The mere approach of a dominant animal may bring about the eviction of subordinate animals. In other cases, actual contact is necessary. Shelters are usually defended vigorously by dominant animals. Experimentally, available shelter is taken according to a straight line dominance order. One sex is not dominant over the other, but large animals dominate smaller ones.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, University College of Townsville, Australia

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