Wandering in male fiddler crabs ( Uca tangeri ): alternative reproductive tactic or a functional constraint? J.M. Jordão 1) & R.F. Oliveira 2) (ISPA, Unidade de Investigação em Eco-Etologia, R. Jardim do Tabaco, 34, 1149-041 Lisboa, Portugal) (Accepted: 15 June 2005) Summary The ‘aggressive wandering’ behaviour of male fiddler crabs is well documented in several species and is usually described as an apparently random movement through a population, punctuated by threats and combat directed at displaying males, and superficial burrow ex- plorations. It has been suggested that wandering males are mainly low condition individuals with a regenerating major claw, unsuccessful at attracting mates, wandering through the pop- ulation seeking surface copulations as an alternative to burrow copulations, which may be considered an alternative reproductive tactic. In order to test this hypothesis we have made several predictions. We observed several focal wandering males, compared sizes of wander- ing and resource holder individuals, and monitored their abundance across the lunar cycle. We did not observe any surface copulation attempts in any of our focal subjects. The number of burrows explored by wandering males was highly variable and not dependent on the subject’s size although larger males do spend more time
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2005
Keywords: FIDDLER CRABS; ALTERNATIVE REPRODUCTIVE TACTIC; WANDERING
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