Unusual shelters occupied by Brazilian hermit crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda: Diogenidae).
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ABSTRACT: An unidentified species of hermit crab from the Maldives was photographed using a plastic box as shelter instead of a natural shell. This could be a result of increased pollution and shell collection disrupting the natural processes in coral reefs.Marine Biodiversity Records 06/2008; 2:e33.
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ABSTRACT: Schejter, L. and Mantelatto, F.L. 2011. Shelter association between the hermit crab Sympagurus dimorphus and the zoanthid Epizoanthus paguricola in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean. —Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 92: 141–149.The available literature on zoanthid–hermit crab associations deals only with records of this phenomenon, providing no detailed information. We describe, for the first time, the shell-like colonies of Epizoanthus paguricola associated with the hermit crab Sympagurus dimorphus from benthic samples taken in the Argentine Sea, between 85 and 131 m depth, and provide information about morphometric relationships between the hermits and the zoanthids. In total, 260 specimens (137 males and 123 females) of S. dimorphus were collected, 240 (92.3%) of which were living in symbiosis with E. paguricola. The remaining 20 (7.7%) were living inside gastropod shells. As the initial structure of the pseudoshell, 12 different gastropod species were found (all were almost totally covered with colonies of E. paguricola). The hermit crab lives in the spiral cavity inside the soft colony, which seemed to be slightly different depending on the initial gastropod. Aperture pseudoshell morphology did not seem to be related to the sex of the hermit crab host, although males showed larger apertures for a given colony size. This fact is probably related to a larger size of male’s cheliped (sexual dimorphic character) used like a gastropod operculum and that may serve as a template for the growing of the aperture pseudoshell edge. The number of epizoanthid polyps per colony increased in relation to the weight of the colony and to the size of the hermit crab. A process of selection of the initial shell was evident, because species of Naticidae were not the most common gastropods in this benthic community, but were those most used by hermit crabs (>60%). The puzzling association between hermit crab, shell and zoanthid presumably occurs during the hermit juvenile phase, when the crab occupies a small shell, and a zoanthid larva settles on it. Given the close relationship between S. dimorphus and E. paguricola found in this region, we support the idea that due to the low availability of adequate gastropod shells for hermit life cycle, this association allows the establishment and the continuity of the hermit crab population in the studied area.Acta Zoologica 11/2009; 92(2):141 - 149. · 1.47 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Hermit crabs of the species Pagurus criniticornis (Dana, 1852) parasitized by the poorly known colonial rhizocephalan Peltogasterella socialis (Müller, 1863), were collected in the infralittoral rocky/sandy area of Anchieta Island (São Paulo), Brazil. We report the presence and pattern of occurrence of this rhizocephalan in the P. criniticornis population. The hermit crabs were obtained monthly during 1999 by two people using SCUBA methods. A total of 992 hermit crabs were captured and examined for rhizocephalans. The studied population showed non-normal size distribution and only 2.11% of the sample specimens carried externae of P. socialis. The parasite occurrence was seasonal and varied with host size. Some signs of feminization were observed on P. criniticornis pleopods (elongation of the endopod and reduction of the exopod of pleopods for males and reduction in the size of endopods for females). This is the first report on this parasite/host relationship for this South American host species. This is the first record of P. socialis (Müller, 1863) subsequent to the species' description, and possible occurrence of the parasite on hermit crabs in the Bahamas is also reported.Animal Biology 07/2007; 57(3):315-327. · 0.77 Impact Factor
Braz. J. Biol., 63(4): 721-722, 2003
UNUSUAL SHELTERS OCCUPIED BY HERMIT CRABS721
UNUSUAL SHELTERS OCCUPIED BY BRAZILIAN HERMIT
CRABS (CRUSTACEA: DECAPODA: DIOGENIDAE)
GARCIA, R. B., MEIRELES, A. L. and MANTELATTO, F. L.
Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo
(USP), Av. Bandeirantes 3900, CEP 14040-901, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
Correspondence to: Fernando L. Mantelatto, Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras
de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Av. Bandeirantes 3900, CEP 14040-901, Ribeirão Preto,
São Paulo, Brazil, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received May 10, 2002 – Accepted July 11, 2002 – Distributed November 30, 2003
(With 1 figure)
Hermit crabs are commonly found occupying
gastropod shells. However, some hermits are known
to utilize a variety of alternative shelters such as
tusk shells, serpulid tubes, cavities of stones, sponges,
dead corals, pieces of bamboo, bivalve shells (see
Imafuku & Ando, 1999), and/or a variety of
gastropod shells with the exterior surface colonized
by organisms that affect shell selection (see Brooks
& Mariscal, 1985). Despite the 47 hermit crab
species recorded in Brazilian waters (Melo, 1999;
Mantelatto et al., 2001; Nucci & Melo, 2003), there
have been no reports on type of shelters other than
gastropod shells occupied by hermit crabs on the
In December 2000, a male of Dardanus venosus
(H. Milne Edwards, 1848), and a female of Paguristes
erythrops Holthuis, 1959 (3.2 and 3.9 mm in shield
length, SL, respectively), were caught by SCUBA
methods on the rocky surface of the infralittoral area
(9 m depth) of Anchieta Island (23o33’S, 45o05’W),
Ubatuba region, São Paulo State. The male D.
venosus inhabited a bivalve shell (shell aperture width,
SAW = 10.0 mm; shell aperture length, SAL = 9.4
mm) of Chama congregata Conrad, 1833 (Fig. 1A),
and the female P. erythrops a gastropod shell (SAW =
3.8 mm and SAL = 6.7 mm) of Favartia cellulosa
(Conrad, 1846) totally covered by live corals of
Astrangia rathbuni (Vaughan, 1906) (Fig. 1B).
On February 2001, one male and one female (6.9
and 3.0 mm of SL, respectively) of Dardanus insignis
(Saussure, 1858) were collected on soft bottom substrate
(35 to 45 m depth) with a double-rig trawl net in
Caraguatatuba Bay (23o 57’S, 45o 28’W), and São
Sebastião Island region (23o44’S, 45o02’W), northern
coast of São Paulo State. The male inhabited a barnacle
shell (SAW = 14.4 mm and SAL = 12.3 mm) of
Balanus venustus (Darwin, 1854) covered by small
cirriped shells of the same species (Fig. 1C); and the
female inhabited a gastropod shell (SAW = 5.0 mm
and SAL = 10.0 mm) of Fusinus brasiliensis (Grabau,
1904) covered by a colony of unknown bryozoan (Fig.
1D). Voucher specimens collected are deposited in
the Crustacean Collection of the Biology Department
of FFCLRP, University of São Paulo, Brazil (DB/
FFCLRP/USP 1087 to 1090).
As far as we known, the present communication
is the first report of uncommon shelters used by hermit
crabs in shallow waters of the Brazilian coast. It is
important to note that the majority of specimens in
all species reported here were found occupying
gastropod shells in the natural populations (99.8%
of the total) studied in the same region (Mantelatto
et al., 2001; Mantelatto & Garcia, 2002).
No deformities in pleopod, abdomen or
pereopod morphology were observed in these hermit
crabs. However, the length of the exopod of the
uropods were measured, and the asymmetry index
(AI) was calculated following Van Valen (1962);
AI = (L – R)/(L + R), with L and R being left and
right measurements, respectively. The index varies
from +1 (left longer) to –1 (right longer), with 0
indicating perfect symmetry. The female D. insignis
had almost symmetrical uropods (0.15), while the
others presented markedly left-biased asymmetrical
uropods (0.24 for D. venosus; 0.21 for male of D.
insignis; and 0.24 for P. erythrops). The present study
reports isolated cases of uncommon hermit crab
shelters in the São Paulo coast.
NOTE AND COMMENTS
Braz. J. Biol., 63(4): 721-722, 2003
722GARCIA, R. B., MEIRELES, A. L. and MANTELATTO, F. L.
Acknowledgments — The authors are grateful to FAPESP (Grants
98/07454-5; 99/11679-5; 00/02554-3; 98/07090-3) for financial
support in sampling work. Special thanks are due to Drs. Osmar
Domaneschi (IB – USP), Fabio Pitombo (UFRRJ), Alvaro
Migotto (CEBIMar – USP), and Adilson Fransozo (UNESP)
for assistance with shell, cirriped, and coral species identification,
and for making available hermits collected during BIOTA/
FAPESP program, respectively.
BROOKS, W. R. & MARISCAL, R. N., 1985, Shell entry and
shell selection of hydroid-colonized shells by three species
of hermit crabs from the northern Gulf of Mexico. Biol. Bull.,
IMAFUKU, M. & ANDO, T., 1999, Behaviour and morphology
of pagurid hermit crabs (Decapoda, Anomura) that live in tusk
shells (Mollusca, Scaphopoda). Crustaceana, 72: 129-144.
MANTELATTO, F. L. M. & GARCIA, R. B., 2002, Hermit crab
fauna from the infralittoral zone of Anchieta Island (Ubatuba,
Brazil). In: E. E. Briones & F. Alvarez. Modern approaches
to the studies of crustacea. Kluwer Academic/Plenum
Publishers, New York, pp. 137-143.
MANTELATTO, F. L. M., GARCIA, R. B., MARTINELLI, J.
M. & HEBLING, N. J., 2001, On a record of Dardanus
venosus (H. Milne Edwards) (Crustacea, Anomura) from
the São Paulo State, Brazil. Revta. Bras. Zool., 18: 71-73.
MELO, G. A. S., 1999, Manual de identificação dos Crustacea
Decapoda do litoral brasileiro: Anomura, Thalassinidea,
Palinuridea e Astacidea. Plêiade Editora, São Paulo, 551p.
NUCCI, P. R. & MELO, G. A. S., 2003, A new species of
Pagurus (Decapoda: Anomura: Paguridae) from Brazil. J.
Mar. Biol. Ass. U. K., 83: 351-353.
VAN VALEN, L., 1962, A study of fluctuating asymmetry.
Evolution, 16: 125-142.
Fig. 1 — Uncommon shelters occupied by hermit crabs in Ubatuba region. A) A male of Dardanus venosus inhabiting a bi-
valve shell of Chama congregata; B) a female of Paguristes erythrops inhabiting a gastropod shell of Favartia cellulosa to-
tally covered by live corals of Astrangia rathbuni; C) a male of Dardanus insignis inhabiting a barnacle shell of Balanus venustus
totally covered by small shells of the same species; D) a female of Dardanus insignis inhabiting a gastropod shell of Fusinus
brasiliensis covered by a colony of unknown bryozoan.