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

To Build or Not to Build – or to Destroy Burrow Hoods in a Population of Uca Lactea

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 Males of several fiddler crab species sometimes construct sand structures (referred to as “hoods” in Uca lactea) at the entrance to their burrow, to which they attract females. Like the bowers of bowerbirds, sand structures of fiddler crabs are external ornaments that exist physically apart from the animals. Despite the mating benefit gained by possessing a structure, many males do not construct structures and some males even destroy their own structures. Structure destruction cannot be explained by the time and energy costs associated with structure construction or maintenance. This implies that the possession of a structure alone can be costly. In the present study on U. lactea, I experimentally planted hoods at the burrows of males that did not have hoods, and compared their frequency of hood destruction with that of control males (builders whose hoods were replaced with those of other males). Non-builders destroyed planted hoods more frequently than control males. Females, which do not construct hoods, also destroyed experimentally planted hoods more frequently than control males. Hoods are able to attract females, but the possession of hoods may incur some costs for crabs, probably because hoods also attract males and non-receptive females. Hence, only males that can afford the costs are likely to construct hoods.

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Ethology, Department of Zoology, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8502, Japan


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Allen B. J. , Levinton J. S. 2007 "Costs of bearing a sexually selected ornamental weapon in a fiddler crab." Functional Ecology Vol 21 154 161
2. Andersson M. 1994 Sexual selection Princeton University Press Princeton
3. Andersson S. 1991 "Bowers on the savanna: display courts and mate choice in a lekking widowbird." Behavioral Ecology Vol 2 210 218
4. Backwell P. R. Y. , Jennions M. D. , Christy J. H. , Schober U. 1995 "Pillar building in the fiddler crab Uca beebei: evidence for a condition-dependent ornament." Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Vol 36 185 192
5. Borgia G. 1985 "Bower destruction and sexual competition in the satin bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)." Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Vol 11 91 100
6. Christy J. H. 1988a "Pillar function in the fiddler crab Uca beebei (2): competitive courtship signaling." Ethology Vol 78 113 128
7. Christy J. H. 1988b "Pillar function in the fiddler crab Uca beebei (1): effects on male spacing and aggression." Ethology Vol 78 53 71
8. Christy J. H. , Backwell P. R. Y. 2006 "No preference for exaggerated courtship signals in a sensory trap." Animal behaviour Vol 71 1239 1246
9. Christy J. H. , Backwell P. R. Y. , Goshima S. 2001 "The design and production of a sexual signal: hoods and hood building by male fiddler crabs Uca musica." Behaviour Vol 138 1065 1083
10. Christy J. H. , Backwell P. R. Y. , Schober U. 2003b "Interspecific attractiveness of structures built by courting male fiddler crabs: experimental evidence of a sensory trap." Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Vol 53 84 91
11. Christy J. H. , Baum J. K. , Backwell P. R. Y. 2003a "Attractiveness of sand hoods built by courting male fiddler crabs, Uca musica: test of a sensory trap hypothesis." Animal Behaviour Vol 66 89 94
12. Christy J. H. , Backwell P. R. Y. , Goshima S. , Kreutera T. 2002 "Sexual selection for structure building by courting male fiddler crabs: an experimental study of behavioral mechanisms." Behavioral Ecology Vol 13 366 374
13. Crane J. 1941 "Eastern Pacific Expeditions of the New York Zoological Society. XXVI. Crabs of the genus Uca from the west coast of Central America." Zoologica New York Vol 26 145 208
14. de Haan W. 1835 "Crustacea." 25 64 In, von Siebold P. F. Fauna Japonica sive descriptio animalium, quae initinere per Japoniam, jussu et asupiciis superiorum, que summum in India Batava Imperium tennet, suspecto, annis 1833–1850 collegit, notis, observationibus et ambrumbrationibus illustravit Lugduni Batavorum
15. Greenspan B. N. 1982 "Semi-monthly reproduction cycles in male and female fiddler crab, Uca pugnax." Animal Behaviour Vol 30 1084 1092
16. Kim T. W. , Choe J. C. 2003 "The effect of food availability on the semilunar courtship rhythm in the fiddler crab Uca lactea (De Haan) (Brachyura: Ocypodidae)." Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Vol 54 210 217
17. Kim T. W. , Christy J. H. , Choe J. C. 2004 "Semidome building as sexual signaling in the fiddler crab Uca lactea (Brachyura: Ocypodidae)." Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 24 673 679
18. Kim T. W. , Kim K. W. , Srygley R. B. , Choe J. C. 2003 "Semilunar courtship rhythm of the fiddler crab Uca lactea in a habitat with great tidal variation." Journal of Ethology Vol 22 63 68
19. Koga T. , Backwell P. R. Y. , Jennions M. D. , Christy J. H. 1998 "Elevated predation risk changes mating behaviour and courtship in a fiddler crab." Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B Vol 265 1385 1390
20. Muramatsu D. in press "Sand structure construction in Uca lactea (de Haan, 1835) is related to tidal cycle but not to male or female densities." Crustaceana
21. Walther B. A. , Clayton D. H. 2004 "Elaborate ornaments are costly to maintain: evidence for high maintenance handicaps." Behavioral Ecology Vol 16 89 95
22. Yamaguchi T. 1971 "Courtship behavior of a fiddler crab, Uca lactea." Kumamoto Journal of Science Vol 10 13 37
23. Yamaguchi T. , Henmi Y. , Tabata S. 2005 "Hood building and territory usage in the fiddler crab, Uca lactea (De Haan, 1835)." Crustaceana Vol 78 1117 1141
24. Zahavi A. 1975 "Mate selection - a selection for a handicap." Journal of Theoretical Biology Vol 53 205 214
25. Zucker N. 1974 "Shelter building as a means of reducing territory size in the fiddler crab, Uca terpsichores (Crustacea: Ocypodidae)." American Midland Naturalist Vol 91 224 236
26. Zucker N. 1978 "Monthly reproductive cycles in three sympatric hood-building tropical fiddler crabs (genus Uca)." Biological Bulletin Vol 155 410 424
27. Zucker N. 1981 "The role of hood-building in defining territories and limiting combat in fiddler crabs." Animal Behaviour Vol 29 387 395

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