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Development of Asymmetry in the Fiddler Crab Uca Cumulanta Crane, 1943 (Decapoda Brachyura)

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The development of asymmetry of male claws was studied in a species of Venezuelan fiddler crabs, Uca cumulanta (Crane). Adult right-handed males (dextrals) of this species were found to regenerate large right claws in place of selectively removed right large claws and left-handed males (sinistrals) were found to regenerate large left claws in place of left large claws; the remaining small claws were never enlarged after the removal of the original large claws. In a few symmetrical stage crabs having two small claws, right claws were enlarged when left small claws were removed and left claws were enlarged when right small claws were removed. No reversal occurred in the direction of differentiation even after two to three molts so that selective removal of small claws seems to induce a permanent asymmetry in these symmetrical stage crabs.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Marine Biology, University of Karachi, Karachi-32, Pakistan

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