Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Assortative mating in a fiddler crab

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Behaviour

Non-random mating, particularly positive size-assortative mating, is common and can have major evolutionary consequences. The causes of size-assortative mating, however, are rarely examined. Here we explore the possibility of sexual selection, mate availability and mating constraints causing the strong correlation between male and female sizes in the fiddler crab Uca mjoebergi. We show that the full size range of males is available to females throughout the mating period, so mate availability is unlikely to cause size-assortative mating in this species. We also show that mechanical constraints do not prevent females from entering the burrows or mating with the full size range of males. We suggest that the strong size assortative mating that we observed throughout the mating cycle is driven by sexual selection. Both males and females prefer large partners. The benefit to mating with large partners needs further investigation.

Affiliations: 1: Research School of Biology, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Booksmythe I. , Jennions M.D. , Backwell P.R.Y. (2010). "Investigating the ‘dear enemy’ phenomenon in the territory defense of the fiddler crab, Uca mjoebergi ". — Anim. Behav. Vol 79: 419-423.
2. Christy J.H. (1982). "Burrow structure and use in the sand fiddler crab, Uca pugilator (Bosc)". — Anim. Behav. Vol 30: 687-694.
3. Christy J.H. (1983). "Female choice in the resource-defense mating system of the sand fiddler crab, Uca pugilator ". — Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. Vol 12: 169-180.
4. Clark H.L. , Backwell P.R.Y. (2015). "Temporal and spatial variation in female mating preferences in a fiddler crab". — Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. Vol 69: 1779-1784.
5. Crespi B.J. (1989). "Causes of assortative mating in arthropods". — Anim. Behav. Vol 38: 980-1000.
6. de Cara M.A.R. , Barton N.H. , Kirkpatrick M. (2008). "A model for the evolution of assortative mating". — Am. Nat. Vol 171: 580-596.
7. deRivera C.E. (2005). "Long searches for male defended breeding burrows allow female fiddler crabs, Uca crenulata, to release larvae on time". — Anim. Behav. Vol 70: 289-297.
8. Fukui Y. (1988). "Comparative studies on the life history of the grapsid crabs (Crustacea, Brachyura) inhabiting intertidal cobble and boulder shores". — Publ. Seto. Mar. Biol. Lab. Vol 33: 121-162.
9. Goshima S. , Koga T. , Murai M. (1996). "Mate acceptance and guarding by male fiddler crabs Uca tetragonon (Herbst)". — J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. Vol 196: 131-143.
10. Hines A.H. (1982). "Allometric constraints and variables of reproductive effort in brachyuran crabs". — Mar. Biol. Vol 69: 309-320.
11. Jivoff P. (1995). The role of mate guarding, male size and male investment on individual reproductive success in the blue crab, Callinectus sapidus. — PhD Thesis, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
12. Kahn A.T. , Dolstra T. , Jennions M.D. , Backwell P.R.Y. (2013). "Strategic male courtship effort varies in concert with adaptive shifts in female mating preference". — Behav. Ecol. Vol 24: 906-913.
13. Kendall M.S. , Wolcott D.L. , Wolcott T.G. , Hines A.H. (2002). "Influence of male size and mating history on sperm content of ejaculates of the blue crab Callinectes sapidus ". — Mar. Ecol.-Prog. Ser. Vol 230: 235-240.
14. Milner R.N.C. , Jennions M.D. , Backwell P.R.Y. (2010). "Safe sex: male–female coalitions and pre-copulatory mate-guarding in a fiddler crab". — Biol. Lett. Vol 6: 180-182.
15. Murata Y. , Wada K. (2002). "Population and reproductive biology of an intertidal sandstone-boring isopod, Sphaeroma wadai Nunomura, 1994". — J. Nat. Hist. Vol 36: 25-35.
16. Nobbs M. , McGuinness K.A. (1999). "Developing methods for quantifying the apparent abundance of fiddler crabs (Ocypodidae: Uca) in mangrove habitats". — Aust. J. Ecol. Vol 24: 43-49.
17. Olsson M. (1993). "Male preference for large size females and assortative mating for body size in the sand lizard (Lacerta agilis)". — Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. Vol 32: 337-341.
18. Reading K.L. , Backwell P.R.Y. (2007). "Can beggars be choosers? Male mate choice in a fiddler crab". — Anim. Behav. Vol 74: 867-872.
19. Reaney L.T. , Backwell P.R.Y. (2007). "Temporal constraints and female preference for burrow width in the fiddler crab, Uca mjoebergi ". — Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. Vol 61: 1515-1521.
20. Sasson D.A. , Johnson S.L. , Brockmann H.J. (2012). "The role of age on sperm traits in the American horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus ". — Anim. Behav. Vol 84: 975-981.
21. Slatyer R.A. , Jennions M.D. , Backwell P.R.Y. (2012). "Polyandry occurs because females initially trade sex for protection". — Anim. Behav. Vol 83: 1203-1206.
22. Snowberg L.K. , Bolnick D.I. (2012). "Partitioning the effects of spatial isolation, nest habitat, and individual diet in causing assortative mating within a population of threespine stickleback". — Evolution Vol 66: 3582-3594.
23. Taborsky B. , Guyer L. , Demus P. (2014). "‘Prudent habitat choice’: a novel mechanism of size-assortative mating". — J. Evol. Biol. Vol 27: 1217-1228.

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Behaviour — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation