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The relative growth of the dominant hermit crabs (Decapoda, Anomura), i.e., Diogenes pugilator, Anapagurus alboranensis, A. hyndmanni, Pagurus forbesii, and Paguristes eremita, of littoral detritic bottoms (15-24 m deep) from southern Spain (Barbate Bay, near the Straits of Gibraltar) has been studied. Both the increase in cheliped length and in carapace shield length of these species do not show discontinuities during development. Males of Anapagurus alboranensis, Pagurus forbesii, and Diogenes pugilator have isometric growth of cheliped length, but males of Paguristes eremita and Anapagurus hyndmanni present a positively allometric relative growth. Among the females, only Anapagurus hyndmanni shows a clearly negative allometry. The results indicate that increase in cheliped length tends to be isometric relative to cheliped width, at least in the majority of the species at issue here. However, this relationship is negative in the case of both sexes of Diogenes pugilator, just as well as in the male Anapagurus hyndmanni. The present data on relative growth are discussed in relation to earlier studies, especially so those on Diogenes pugilator, which are compared in some detail. In all, the results indicate that there exists no consistent pattern of relative growth of the cheliped within families or genera of hermit crabs.

Etude de la croissance relative des pagurides (Decapoda, Anomura) dominants sur les fonds detritiques littoraux (profondeur 15-24 metres) du sud de l'Espagne (Baie de Barbate, pres du detroit de Gibraltar). Il s'agit de Diogenes pugilator, Anapagurus alboranensis, A. hyndmanni, Pagurus forbesii, et Paguristes eremita. Chez ces especes, la croissance de la longueur du chelipede et de celle de l'ecusson ne montre pas de discontinuites pendant le developpement. Les males de Diogenes pugilator, Anapagurus alboranensis et Pagurus forbesii ont une croissance isometrique du chelipede, mais ceux d'Anapagurus hyndmanni et de Paguristes eremita presentent une allometrie relative positive. Chez les femelles, seul Anapagurus hyndmanni montre une allometrie nettement negative. Les resultats indiquent que la longueur du chelipede tend a etre isometrique par rapport a sa largeur, au moins chez la majorite des especes en question. Cependant la relation est negative dans les deux sexes chez Diogenes pugilator, comme chez le male d'Anapagurus hyndmanni. Les presentes donnees sont discutees en relation avec les etudes precedentes, en particulier avec celles sur Diogenes pugilator, qui font l'objet d'une comparaison quelque peu detaillee. Dans l'ensemble, les resultats indiquent qu'il n'existe pas de modele uniforme de croissance relative du chelipede dans les familles ou genres de pagurides.


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