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MALE-FEMALE ASSOCIATION IN THE SPIDER CRAB INACHUS PHALANGIUM: THE INFLUENCE OF FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE STAGE AND SIZE

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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT The distribution of Inachus phalangium (Decapoda: Majidae) on the sea anemone Anemonia sulcata was investigated from 1982 to 1984 in the coastal region of Banyuls-sur-Mer (southern France). Most adult crabs (64.5%) were found alone on an anemone, but groups of 2, 3, and 4 adults sharing an anemone were decreasingly frequent. Spider crabs were randomly distributed on the anemones; 79.5% of the occupied anemones held only one crab. In cases of multiple occupation of a given anemone, (1) heterosexual pairs were more frequent than could be expected for random association, and homosexual pairs less frequent, (2) reproductive males were paired more frequently than expected with females ready to spawn, and (3) adult males pairing with females ready to spawn were larger than solitary males or those males with females not yet ready to spawn. In multiparous females 27% of the variance in the number of eggs per brood was explained by body size; egg number was positively correlated with body size but varied strongly within the same body-size class. Assortative pairing for body size in pairs was not found, probably because any fitness advantage accruing to males in choosing large females is offset by the costs of longer seeking time and the loss of mating opportunities with smaller females.

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/content/journals/10.1163/193724088x00080
1988-01-01
2016-12-03

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