Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Crypsis in Paraxanthus Barbiger (Decapoda: Brachyura): Mechanisms Against Visual Predators

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

Abstract Marine organisms have evolved a suite of responses to minimize the exposure to predators. Visual crypsis is one such strategy to avoid predation. Paraxanthus barbiger (Poeppig, 1836) is a species that exhibits different color morphotypes over heterogeneous substrates as a means of protection against visual predators. Our main objectives were to quantify the occurrence of color morphotypes over a three-year period and to investigate, via an experimental approach, on the possible mechanisms involved that would provide crypsis to this species. Field surveys occurred over a three-year period at two nearby sites on the central Chilean coast. Initial observations indicated that small juvenile P. barbiger exhibited higher degrees of color polymorphism than larger (> 20 mm carapace width) conspecifics. Furthermore, survival rates of small (< 10 mm carapace width) P. barbiger exposed to predators increased on heterogeneous substrata under both natural and laboratory conditions. Laboratory experiments further demonstrated that newly settled P. barbiger actively select heterogeneous substrata. Hence, cryptic responses of this species might reduce predation-mediated mortality through color pattern disruption of individuals with respect to their environment.

Affiliations: 1: a (KCM) Departamento de Oceanografía, Universidad de Concepción, Casilla 160-C, Concepción, Chile ( ; 2: b (LMP) Universidad Austral de Chile, Instituto de Biología Marina, Laboratorio Costero Calfuco, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile ( ; 3: c (RJDW) Texas A&M University, Department of Marine Biology, 5007 Avenue U, Galveston, Texas 77551, U.S.A. ( ; 4: d (ATP) Departamento de Ecología, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Center for Advanced Studies in Ecology and Biodiversity (CASEB). Alameda 340 Casilla 114-D, Santiago, Chile (


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Baeza J. A. , Stotz W. 2003 "Host-use and selection of differently colored sea anemones by the symbiotic crab Allopetrolisthes spinifrons." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol 284 25 39
2. Bahamonde N. 1950b "Alimentacin del Rollizo (Pinguipes chilensis, Molina, 1781)." Investigaciones Zoolgicas Chilenas Vol 1 12 14
3. Beck M. 1995 "Size-specific shelter limitation in stone crabs: a test of the demographic bottleneck hypothesis." Ecology Vol 76 968 980
4. Boal J. G. , Wittenberg K. M. , Hanlon R. T. 2000 "Observational learning does not explain improvement in predation tactics by cuttlefish (Mollusca: Cephalopoda)." Behavioural Processes Vol 52 141 153
5. Butman C. A. 1987 "Larval settlement of soft-sediment invertebrates: The spatial scales of pattern explained by active habitat selection and the emerging role of hidrodynamical processes." Oceanography and Marine Biology Annual Review Vol 25 113 165
6. Cruz-Rivera E. 2001 "Generality and specificity in the feeding and decoration preferences of three Mediterranean crabs." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol 266 17 31
7. Everett R. A. , Ruiz G. M. 1993 "Coarse woody debris as a refuge from predation in aquatic communities: an experimental test." Oecologia Vol 93 475 486
8. Finelli C. M. , Pentcheff N. D. , Zimmer-Faust R. K. , Wethey D. S. 2000 "Physical constraints on ecological processes: a field test of odor-mediated foraging." Ecology Vol 81 784 797
9. Fiorito G. , Gherardi F. 1999 "Prey-handling behavior of Octopus vulgaris (Mollusca, Cephalopoda) on bivalve preys." Behavioural Processes Vol 46 75 88
10. Garcia T. S. , Sih F. 2002 "Color change and color-dependent behavior in response to predation risk in the salamander sister species Ambystoma barbouri and Ambystoma texanum." Oecologia Vol 137 131 139
11. Gonzlez P. , Oyarzn C. 2003 "Diet of the Chilean sandperch, Pinguipes chilensis (Perciformes, Pinguipedidae) in southern Chile." Journal of Applied Ichthyology Vol 19 371 375
12. Hacker S. D. , Madin L. P. 1991 "Why habitat architecture and color is important to shrimp living in pelagic Sargassum: use of camouflage and plant-part mimicry." Marine Ecology Progress Series Vol 70 143 155
13. Hanlon R. T. , Forsythe J. W. , Joneschild D. E. 1999 "Crypsis, conspicuousness, mimicry and polyphenism as antipredator defences of foraging octopuses on Indo-Pacific coral reefs, with a method of quantifying crypsis from video tapes." Biological Journal of the Linnean Society Vol 66 1 22
14. Heck K. L. Jr. , Wilson K. A. 1987 "Predation rates on decapod crustaceans in latitudinally separated seagrass communities: a study of spatial and temporal variation using tethering techniques." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol 197 87 100
15. Hogarth P. J. 1978 "Variation in the carapace pattern of juvenile Cancer maenas." Marine Biology Vol 44 337 343
16. Holm E. 1990 "Effects of density-dependent mortality on the relationship between recruitment and larval settlement." Marine Ecology Progress Series Vol 60 141 146
17. Hosmer D. W. , Lemeshow S. 2000 "Applied Logistic Regression." Second edition. Wiley, New York
18. Johnson P. M. , Willows A. O D. 1999 "Defense in sea hares (Gastropoda, Opisthobranchia, Anaspidea): multiple layers of protection from egg to adult." Marine and Freshwater Behavior and Physiology Vol 32 147 180
19. Main K. 1987 "Predator avoidance in seagrass meadows: prey behavior, microhabitat selection, and cryptic coloration." Ecology Vol 68 179 180
20. Melendez R. 1989 "Alimentacin y consideraciones somatomtricas de Protlatilus jugularis (Valenciennes) (Teleostei, Branchiostegidae)." Boletn del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Chile Vol 47 5 8
21. Mercurio S. , Palmer R. , Lowell R. 1985 "Predator-medited microhabitat partitioning by two species of visually cryptic intertidal limpets." Ecology Vol 66 1417 1425
22. Merilaita S. 1998 "Crypsis through disruptive coloration in an isopod." Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B Vol 265 1059 1064
23. Merilaita S. , Tuomi J. , Jormalainen V. 1999 "Optimization of cryptic coloration in heterogeneous habitats." Biological Journal of the Linnean Society Vol 67 151 161
24. Merilaita S. , Lyytinen A. , Mappes J. 2001 "Selection for cryptic coloration in a visually heterogeneous habitat." Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B Vol 268 1925 1929
25. Mima A. , Wada S. , Goshima S. 2003 "Antipredator defence of the hermit crab Pagurus filholi induced by predatory crabs." Oikos Vol 102 104 110
26. Ojeda F. P. , Fariña J. M. 1996 "Temporal variations of the abundance, activity and trophic patterns of the rockfish Sebastes capensis, off the central Chilean coast." Revista Chilena de Historia Natural Vol 69 205 211
27. Palma A. T. , Wahle R. A. , Steneck R. S. 1998 "Different early post-settlement strategies between American lobsters Homarus americanus and rock crabs Cancer irroratus in the Gulf of Maine." Marine Ecology Progress Series Vol 162 215 225
28. Palma A. T. , Steneck R. S. 2001 "Does variable coloration in juvenile marine crabs reduce risk of visual predation?." Ecology Vol 82 2961 2967
29. Palma A. T. , Ojeda F. P. 2002 "Abundance, distribution and feeding patterns of a temperature reef fish in subtidal environments of the Chilean coast: the importance of understory algal turf." Revista Chilena de Historia Natural Vol 75 189 200
30. Palma A. T. , Orrego C. , Arriagada M. 2003 "Cripsis in early benthic phases of brachyuran decapod crustaceans in central Chile." Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 76: 149-156
31. Palma A. T. , Pardo L. M. , Veas R. , Cartes C. , Silva M. , Manrquez K. , Daz A. , Muñoz C. , Ojeda F. P. 2006 "Coastal brachyuran decapods: settlement and recruitment under contrasting coastal geometry conditions." Marine Ecology Progress Series Vol 316 139 153
32. Pardo L. M. , Palma A. T. , Prieto C. , Sepulveda P. , Valdivia I. , Ojeda F. P. 2007 "Processes regulating early post-settlement habitat abundance and distribution in subtidal assemblage of brachyuran decapods." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol 344 10 22
33. Poeppig E. 1836 "Crustacea chilensia nova aut minus nota." Archiv fuer Naturgeschichte Vol 2 133 145 pl. 4
34. Raimondi P. , Sagarin R. D. , Ambrose R. , Bell C. , George M. , Lee S. , Lohse D. , Miner C. M. , Murray S. 2007 "Consistent frequency of color morphs in the sea star Pisaster ochraceus (Echinodermata: Asteriidae) across open-coast habitats in the northeastern Pacific." Pacific Science Vol 61 197 206
35. Retamal M. A. 1995 "Los decpodos de Chile." Universidad de Concepcin, Concepcin, 256 pp
36. Sakamoto R. , Ito A. , Wada S. 2006 "Combined effect of risk type and activity rhythm on anti-predator response of the shore crab Gaetice depressus (Crustacea: Grapsidae)." Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom Vol 86 1 5
37. Stachowicz J. J. , Hay M. E. 1996 "Facultative mutualism between an herbivorous crabs and a coralline alga: advantages of eating noxious seaweeds." Oecologia Vol 105 377 761
38. Taylor R. J. 1984 "Predation." Chapman & Hall. London. Viii 166 pp
39. Todd P. A. , Briers R. A. , Ladle R. J. , Middleton F. 2006 "Phenotype-environment matching in the shore crab (Carcinus maenas)." Marine Biology Vol 148 1357 1367
40. Wahle R. A. , Steneck R. S. 1991 "Recruitment habitat and nursery grounds of the American lobster (Homarus americanus Milne Edwards): a demographic bottleneck?." Marine Ecology Progress Series Vol 69 231 243
41. Wahle R. A. , Steneck R. S. 1992 "Habitat restrictions in early benthic life: experiments on habitat selection and in situ predation with the American lobster." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol 157 91 114
42. Weissburg M. J. 1994 "Odor plumes and how blue crabs use them in finding prey." Journal of Experimental Biology Vol 197 349 375
43. Welch J. M. , Rittschof D. , Bullock T. M. , Forward R. B. 1997 "Effects of chemicals cues on settlement behavior of blue crab Callinectes sapidus postlarvae." Marine Ecology Progress Series Vol 154 143 153
44. Wicksten M. K. 1979 "Decorating behavior in Loxorhynchus crispatus Stimpsom and Loxorhynchus grandis Stimpsom (Brachyura, Majidae) Crustaceana." Supplement 5
45. Zar J. 1996 "Biostatisical Analysis." Third edition. Prentice-Hall, New Jersey, 745 pp

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Crustacean Biology — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation