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Decreased temperature results in daytime larval release by the fiddler crab Uca deichmanni Rathbun, 1935

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Many crabs release their larvae during large amplitude high tides at night to reduce predation by fishes. These “safe” tides often occur within a few hours of dawn, therefore crabs targeting these tides are vulnerable to releasing larvae during daylight if a decrease in temperature extends incubation by a few days. Uca deichmanni Rathbun, 1935 release larvae during the large amplitude tides, but the timing of larval release with respect to the tidal and diel cycle was previously unknown. This species released larvae exclusively during the high tide, approximately two hours before sunrise, in warm conditions in the laboratory. In cold water, females released larvae primarily during the high tide, but many released during daylight (55%). During cold conditions in the field, 35% of females released larvae on days when the morning high tide occurred during daylight. These females or their larvae may therefore have been exposed to higher risk of predation by diurnally feeding predators.


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