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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT Uca tetragonon is an Indo-West Pacific species of fiddler crab in the narrow-front (NF) species group. Male Uca tetragonon used display by claw-waving to attract females into burrows of males for mating. Pairing attempts by male Uca tetragonon attracting conspecific females into their burrows occurred in 2 different ways. In type 1, males entered their burrows after their mates did, and, in type 2, males entered their burrows first and their mates followed. Both types occurred with similar frequencies. Rate of pair formation and spawning rate of paired females were not significantly different between the 2 types. Nine of 20 females spawned in the pooled data from both types. In Indo-West Pacific fiddlers, type 1 pair formation (female first) has been found in the 5 subgenera (NF and the broad-front species (BF) group) and type 2 (male first) previously only in the BF group, but now also in Uca tetragonon. Type 1 is common to all subgenera of Uca in the Indo-West Pacific, a criterion typical of ancestral characters. Since NF and BF groups are distinctly different in phylogenesis as well as in their ecology, type 2 pair formation is supposed to be a derived behavioral character in NF fiddlers, having evolved independently from the BF group.


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