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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT Carrying is a behavior in which the last one or two pairs of pereiopods of a crab are used to lift and hold an object dorsally over the body. This behavior is found in the families Homolidae, Latreilliidae, Dromiidae, Tymolidae, and Dorippidae. Crabs that carry have subdorsal pereiopods ending in spines, hooks, subchelae, chelae, or curved dactyls. Subdorsal pereiopods ending in small chelae also are found in the Homolodromiidae. All of the families that carry have been classified in the section Dromiacea except for the Dorippidae. I suggest that carrying is a conservative behavioral pattern in brachyuran crabs, and that it may be useful in determining family relationships.


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