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Allometric relationships and sexual dimorphism in three ubiquitous hermit crab species (Anomura, Diogenidae) from a tropical mangrove estuary

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Shield length-weight relationship (LWR) and relative growth were studied in three tropical hermit crab species, Diogenes moosaiRahayu & Forest, 1995, Diogenes lopochirMorgan, 1989, and Clibanarius infraspinatus(Hilgendorf, 1869). Overall, the length exponent ( b) for LWR ranged between 2.67 to 3.28 with males of both Diogenesspecies showing positive allometry ( b > 3 . 0 ) and females showing negative allometry ( b < 3 . 0 ), whereas that of both sexes of C. infraspinatusshowed negative allometry. Males had larger bvalues than females in all species, indicating that males are heavier than females of equal shield length. In all species, relative growth of cheliped and chela exhibited positive allometry ( b > 1 . 0 ) with distinct sexual dimorphism whereby males bear longer chelipeds and chelae compared to females of equal shield lengths. Intra- and interspecific variations in growth of body and cheliped among the three sympatric hermit crab species allow for the resource partitioning of their vital shell resources.

Affiliations: 1: 1Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


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