The species composition, abundance, and vertical distribution of hermit crabs (Decapoda: Paguroidea) were investigated in Vostok Bay, Sea of Japan, from September 2014 to September 2015. A total of seven species from two families were found in the monitoring area of approximately 5000 m2 located on the bottom within a depth range of 0–11 m: Pagurus minutus, P. proximus, P. brachiomastus, P. pectinatus, P. ochotensis, P. middendorffii (Paguridae), and Areopaguristes hirsutimanus (Diogenidae). Their population density varied from 22 ± 13 to 26 ± 2 ind./m2; the biomass varied from 55.76 ± 26.10 to 93.38 ± 27.00 g/m2. The species composition remained invariable throughout the study period. The proportions of species abundance changed between seasons, as this parameter is largely determined by seasonal migrations of hermit crabs. Pagurus minutus predominated in number in winter and spring (up to 71%); P. proximus, in summer and autumn (up to 47%). In autumn and spring, P. ochotensis and P. pectinatus constituted a major part of biomass (18–25% and 19–20%, respectively). The proportion of a previously abundant species, P. middendorffii, was very small (no larger than 1.3%) during the study period. Another four species of hermit crabs occurred in other parts of Vostok Bay; thus, the fauna of the bay currently includes 11 species of this group.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 21, 2017
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