Shell utilization patterns of the intertidal hermit crab Pagurus filholi were compared between two distant local populations from Oura Bay, Shimoda, central Japan, and Hakodate Bay, Hakodate, northern Japan, in conjunction with the shell resource availability and shell utilization patterns of sympatric hermit crabs. Gastropod species of shells dominantly utilized by P. filholi differed between Oura Bay and Hakodate Bay, and shell utilization patterns did not correspond to the availability of shells in both study localities. Between P. filholi and other sympatric hermit crabs, there were some clear differences in shell species utilized in both localities, and values of niche overlap indices in shell and habitat utilizations between P. filholi and other crabs were higher in Hakodate Bay than in Oura Bay. The rich supply of shell resources in Hakodate Bay compared to Oura Bay is considered to be a factor responsible for the difference in the degree of niche overlapping between the two localities.
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