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The Reproductive Behaviour and Mate Choice of the Fiddler Crab (Uca Lactea Lactea) in Mid-Taiwan

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This study took place between July 1985 and April 1986. Uca lactea lactea has a semi-lunar reproductive cycle. It was most active after spring tide when the ground was wet. The peak of mating frequency usually occurred two days after spring tide, but could be delayed by unsuitable weather conditions. The prominent display equipment, the major cheliped, and the conspicuous lateral waving as courtship behaviour were not essential to a male's mating success, while stroking at a female's burrow entrance was. Males which were persistent at stroking and courting one female at a time mated more times. Both sexes tended to mate with several partners. Copulations occurred between individuals occupying burrows near each other, but not necessarily adjacent to each other. Courting males were frequently interrupted by other males. Those who could chase away the intruders often succeeded in copulating. Male body size seems important in determining whether intruders can be expelled successfully. Burrow changes took place frequently and were usually initiated by larger individuals. Burrow changes may be an individual's effort at relocating to a better site for more successful mating. Nevertheless, males of different carapace sizes did not differ in the number of successful matings.

Affiliations: 1: (Institute of Zoology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.

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