Large male fiddler crabs prey on smaller conspecifics and other ocypodoid crabs. Large male fiddler crabs Gelasimus vocans (Linnaeus, 1758) either stayed at their burrows or left them to feed at the shoreline when the tide exposed the intertidal habitat in a river on Okinawa, Japan. Soldier crabs Mictyris guinotae Davie, Shih & Chan, 2010 occupied burrows close to burrow-resident male fiddler crabs but some soldier crabs were active on the surface only briefly and the two species did not encounter each other. Soldier crabs released experimentally near the burrows of male fiddler crabs were often killed and carried by the fiddle crabs into their burrows. In contrast, soldier crabs left their burrows to feed at the shoreline alongside fiddler crabs and therefore the two species frequently encountered each other on natural conditions but the male fiddler crabs did not prey on the soldier crabs. Predation on M. guinotae by large male G. vocans was found to be related to burrow occupation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science