Marine Biology

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 15–28 | Cite as

The breeding biology of two sympatric species of tropical intertidal hermit crabs, Clibanarius chapini and C. senegalensis

  • C. Ameyaw-Akumfi


A one-year study of breeding in the two intertidal hermit crabs Clibanarius chapini Schmitt and C. senegalensis Chevreux and Bouvier showed that both species maintain a high reproductive activity throughout the year. Brief low reproductive activities, found in both species, occurred in different months: C. chapini in November, C. senegalensis in May. While these drops cannot be attributed to any recognisable environmental factor, it is suggested that such pattern may result from competition between the two species. Sex-ratio studies indicated slightly more females than males in both species. The maximal size attained by males of both species is considerably greater than that of the females; in C. senegalensis this is very marked. It is suggested that it may be selectively advantageous for a female to attain a smaller maximal size since her brood must also be accomodated within the shell. As expected for continuously breeding species, recruitment of young into the population is also continuous.


Environmental Factor Maximal Size Reproductive Activity Sympatric Species Hermit Crab 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Ameyaw-Akumfi
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of Cape CoastCape CoastGhana
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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