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Microhabitat Preferences of Young Ligia Pallasii Brandt (Isopoda)

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In the study area of Port Renfrew, British Columbia, Ligia pallasii newly emerged from the brood pouch (2-3 mm in length) inhabit moist beds of the green alga, Enteromorpha sp. After growing to a length of about 5 mm the young animals move into the sea wall, rock crevice habitat of the adult animals. In laboratory preference experiments the young animals preferred seaweeds over other choices of microhabitat. The preferred laboratory seaweeds were the red alga, Rhodomela larix and, to a lesser extent, Enteromorpha. The latter appears to be the preferred field choice because of its accessibility to the newly emerged Ligia. The preference of young Ligia for a seaweed microhabitat is thought to be related to protection and food supply.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

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