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Polymorphism in the chelae of mature males of the land crabs Johngarthia lagostoma and Epigrapsus spp.

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The growth of the chelae of mature males was examined in three gecarcinid land crabs — Johngarthia lagostoma on Ascension Island, Epigrapsus notatus on Taiwan, and E. politus on Moorea. Chelar dimorphism was found in each species, with a mixture of homochelous and heterochelous males. In J. lagostoma there was progressive polymorphism, with the heterochelous condition appearing only in a proportion of the larger mature males. The situation in Epigrapsus was less clear. The proportion of heterochelous males increased in the larger mature size classes, but progressive polymorphism is yet to be confirmed.

Affiliations: 1: 1School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3BX, U.K. ; 2: 2Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9EZ, U.K. ; 3: 3Ascension Island Government Conservation Department, Georgetown, Ascension Island ; 4: 4No. 53, Chengong 11th Street, Jhubei City, Hsinchu County, Taiwan 302

5Corresponding author; e-mail:

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