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TIME-LAPSE MOVIES AND THE DIURNAL TIME BUDGET AND ACTIVITY PATTERNS OF CATALEPTODIUS FLORIDANUS, A TROPICAL INTERTIDAL XANTHID CRAB

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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT Time-lapse cinematography was used to record the daily activity patterns and the specific behaviors performed in a dense population of a small xanthid crab, Cataleptodius floridanus, on Glover's Reef, Belize, Central America. The crabs' activities were filmed in the extreme low intertidal zone on Long Cay, Glover's Reef, where the population exceeds 100 individuals/ m2 in coral rubble. Daylong films taken at a rate of one frame/15 s showed that few or no C. floridanus were active outside their burrows when the tide was high. Activity levels increased as the tide fell, and greatest activity occurred during low tides in the afternoon. To obtain detailed records of the time crabs allocated to various activities, films were made at two frames/s for 30 min during peak activity periods. An average crab spent about 68% of its time inside its burrow out of sight. Of the remaining time 23% was spent feeding, about 3% coming out of the burrow, 2% going into the burrow, 2% performing burrow maintenance tasks, and less than 1% in each of the following categories: extended foraging bouts, stone rolling, agonistic encounters, and courtship. Entrances and exits from burrows were quick, averaging less than seven s each, but burrow-tending bouts averaged 40 s long, and feeding episodes averaged almost 70 s. Most of the crabs stayed within a few cm of their burrow entrances.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115.

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/content/journals/10.1163/1937240x84x00381
1984-01-01
2016-12-06

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