Alternate Title

Invertebrates Associated with the Thinstripe Hermit Clibanarius vittatus (Bosc) (Crustacea: Decapoda: Diogenidae) from the Barrier Islands of Mississippi

Document Type

Short Communication


Hermit crabs, the gastropod shells that they inhabit, and associated epifauna constitute a motile microhabitat. Twenty-three macroscopic. epifaunal invertebrates were associated with the diogenid crab Clibanarius vittatus in Mississippi coastal waters. Epibiotic growth may discourage predation of the crab, reduce competition for the shells, or provide an advantage in agonistic shell interaction. In addition, the shell provides a hard substrate for settling and attachment of epifauna in an area that is largely devoid of hard substrate. Reduced sedimentation and prevention of shell burial, improved food availability, transport, and protection from predation may also be advantageous to the epizoans.

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