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Distribution of the Hermit Crabs Clibanarius vittatus and Pagurus maclaughlinae in the Northern Indian River Lagoon, Florida: A Reassessment After 30 Years

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Abstract The present distribution of two hermit crabs, Clibanarius vittatus and Pagurus maclaughlinae, was assessed for comparison with a study done more than 30 yr ago on decapods of the region. Clibanarius vittatus presently occurs in low or moderate density only at Sebastian Inlet. Retreat of C. vittatus from sites that it formerly occupied is attributed to intolerance of its larvae to low salinities recorded in the lagoon during recent reproductive seasons. Pagurus maclaughlinae remains the most abundant and widespread hermit crab in the lagoon. Its present distribution seems unchanged from the reference study despite prolonged periods, sometimes years, during which salinities declined to 12-25 in many areas distant from inlets.

Affiliations: 1: (CJK, RLT, Florida Institute of Technology, Department of Biological Sciences, 150 West University Boulevard, Melbourne, Florida 32901


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