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Symbiosis of the sea star shrimp, Periclimenes soror Nobili, 1904 (Decapoda, Palaemonidae), and cushion star, Culcita novaeguineae Müller & Troschel, 1842 (Echinodermata, Asteroidea, Oreasteridae): host finding and benefits

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Symbioses play an integral role in community structure and act as significant selective forces in evolution; hence these relationships have been the subject of much scientific interest. The symbiosis between the pontoniine shrimp, Periclimenes soror Nobili, 1904 and the cushion star, Culcita novaeguineae Müller & Troschel, 1842 was investigated using laboratory experimentation. Host-seeking behavior and benefits imparted to shrimp symbionts were examined. Results from a Y-maze experiment revealed that P. soror appears to actively orient to its hosts, and that chemical cues may play a role in the orientation process. Results from a survivorship experiment suggest that P. soror may be an obligate associate of its host and likely receives alimentation through its relationship with C. novaeguineae. Results from a hiding experiment and color-match experiment indicate that P. soror may also obtain protection from predators through this association by both behaviorally hiding on its host, and also actively changing color to reside cryptically on C. novaeguineae. The findings of this study provide insight into the relationship between P. soror and C. novaeguineae as well as help contextualize this association with symbioses in general.

Affiliations: 1: Environmental Science Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, U.S.A.

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/content/journals/10.1163/15685403-00003192
2013-01-01
2016-12-10

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