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The Effect of Shelter Type on Uropod Symmetry in Calcinus Verrilli (Anomura: Diogenidae)

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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

Abstract Calcinus verrilli, a hermit crab endemic to Bermuda, is unusual in that it inhabits both gastropod shells (Cerithium litteratum) and gastropod tubes (Dendropoma irregulare and Dendropoma annulatus; Vermicularia knorrii and Vermicularia spirata). A significant difference was observed between the uropod symmetry of shell dwellers and tube dwellers. Tube dwellers were found to have more symmetrical uropods than shell dwellers. Regardless of shelter, the abdomens of naked individuals coiled to the right, and the left uropod was always longer than the right when their uropods were not perfectly symmetrical, suggesting the C. verrilli may be a descendant of a shell-dwelling ancestor, most likely one that inhabited dextrally coiled shells. Shelter type was manipulated, so that individuals collected in shells were forced to inhabit tubes, while those collected in tubes were forced into shells. Over several molts, uropod symmetry of the forced shelter dwellers did not differ from that of individuals inhabiting the same types of shelters in the field. This may be the first experimental evidence of an alternative shelter affecting symmetry in a hermit crab species.

Affiliations: 1: a Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, 25 Harbord Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 3G5 and Bermuda Biological Station for Research, 17 Zoological Lane, St. George's, Bermuda GE 01 ; 2: b (correspondence) Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, 25 Harbord Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 3G5 ( dunham@zoo.utoronto.ca) ; 3: c Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, 25 Harbord Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 3G5 and Bermuda Biological Station for Research, 17 Zoological Lane, St. George's, Bermuda GE 01

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/content/journals/10.1163/20021975-99990236
2002-01-01
2016-12-10

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