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Some Life History Observations On the Pea Crab, Pinnotheres Tsingtaoensis, Symbiotic With the Bivalve Mollusk, Sanguinolaria Acuta

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The pea crab, Pinnotheres tsingtaoensis, symbiotic with the bivalve mollusk, Sanguinolaria acuta, was collected in the estuary of Bazhan Stream on the west coast of Taiwan from May, 1992 to November, 1993. More than 90% of the bivalves were infested and most infested specimens (90-97%) hosted one crab. Two cohorts, i.e., year classes, of the bivalves were observed in May, but only one was seen between July and November; the life span of the crab is less than 2 years at the site. Recruitment of both the bivalves and the crabs apparently occurred between November and May next year. Positive size correlation between hosts and symbionts was found in larger sized females, but was not consistent in smaller sized males. All females had a soft carapace whereas most males had a hard carapace; females were less likely to leave the hosts than males upon collection of the host bivalves. Females accompanied by males were more likely to carry eggs. Mating probably took place inside the hosts where female crabs remained stationary, with males visiting different bivalves and spending much time outside the bivalves.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Marine Biology, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, 804, Taiwan, Republic of China


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