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Effects of sexual dimorphism and body size on feeding behaviour of the fiddler crab, Uca bengali Crane, 1975

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Uca bengali Crane, 1975 females have two small feeding claws but males have one small feeding claw and another big claw used for waving and fights. On the basis of video recordings of feeding motions and duration, and morphometric measurements of body size (measured as carapace width) and feeding claw size (measured as dactyl length and width), differences in feeding rate per crab and per feeding claw, feeding duration, and feeding claw size between sexes were studied with the main aim to test male ability to compensate for the loss of one functional feeding claw. Additionally, feeding rate of males and females of small and large size classes was studied. Furthermore, correlations between feeding rate and body size, as well as feeding claw size and body size were investigated. Results showed that increased feeding rate per feeding claw coupled with a larger feeding claw allowed males to compensate for the loss of one feeding claw. Smaller males and females fed faster than larger ones. There was a negative correlation between feeding rate and carapace width. Feeding duration did not vary between males and females of comparable size. A positive correlation was observed between feeding claw size and carapace width.

Affiliations: 1: Center of Excellence for Ecoinformatics, School of Science, Walailak University, Nakhon Si Thammarat 80160, Thailand


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