Body Size of the Endosymbiotic Pea Crab Tumidotheres maculatus: Larger Hosts Hold Larger Crabs
The endosymbiotic pea crab, Tumidotheres maculatus, uses a broad range of host taxa, including several bivalve species, in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Because shelter size affects the size of other, free-living crab species, we hypothesized that pea crabs living in larger bivalve hosts should attain larger sizes. Crabs and hosts collected from 3 field sites in northern Florida show this trend. We examined crabs living in a large host, the pen shell Atrina rigida, and found them to be larger than pea crabs living in a small host, the bay scallop Argopecten irradians. Moreover, this trend was only apparent among female pea crabs, which are lifelong endosymbionts, but not among males, which are free-ranging and move among hosts. Our data support the broader conclusion that shelter size influences adult crab size in brachyuran crabs.
Kane, K. and G. S. Farley.
Body Size of the Endosymbiotic Pea Crab Tumidotheres maculatus: Larger Hosts Hold Larger Crabs.
Gulf and Caribbean Research
Retrieved from http://aquila.usm.edu/gcr/vol18/iss1/3