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Unusual shelters occupied by Brazilian hermit crabs (Crustacea, Decapoda, Diogenidae)

Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, 14040-901, Brazil.
Brazilian Journal of Biology (Impact Factor: 0.78). 12/2003; 63(4):721-2. DOI: 10.1590/S1519-69842003000400020
Source: PubMed
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Available from: Andrea Lucca de Meireles, Jul 02, 2014
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    • "Biagi et al., 2006). Unusual shelters are also referred by authors (Garcia et al., 2003) while plastic shelters are even proposed as alternative shelters for hermit crabs with, apparently, important ecological results albeit for terrestrial species (Elizabeth Demaray, unpublished data). "
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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.
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    • "The capital importance of this need can be observed in times of unavailability of this resource, when the hermits are able to occupy a variety of alternative protectors such as conical shells of scaphopods, serpulid tubes, cavities of pebbles, sponges, dead corals, bamboo pieces and shells of bivalve [1]. On the other hand, there were hermit crabs occupying gastropod shells covered by alive corals, bryozoans and barnacles reported from southern Brazil [2]. The selection of the gastropod shell to be occupied by a hermit crab is related to several factors, among which the shell availability in the habitat has been considered the most important one [3] and confirmed by several authors of different countries [4]. "

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    • "Considering that deformities in pleopods of hermit crabs are not caused by occupation of alternative shelters (tubular shells, sepulid tubes, bivalve shells, among others) to gastropod shells (Garcia et al., 2003; Meireles et al., 2003), we assume that signs of feminization are caused by parasitic action. Attrill (1989) found a series of modifications in pleopod structures (size, form and setae pattern) for males and females of Munida sarsi Huus (Crustacea, Galatheidae) parasitized by the rizocephalan Triangulus munidae Smith. "
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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.
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