Journal of Ethology

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 107–114 | Cite as

Response of hermit crabs to sinistral shells

  • Michio Imafuku
Article

Abstract

Shell rotating behavior of the hermit crabPagurus geminus was investigated. In preliminary observations, hermit crabs motivated to change shells rotated presented shells, filled with sand, in a way that dislodged the inside material. In order to determine if this behavior is stereotyped, or flexible and dependent on shell type, hermit crabs were tested with ordinary dextral shells ofLatirulus nagasakiensis and sinistral shells ofAntiplanes contraria. Sinistral shells are not normally encountered by hermit crabs. Their rotation of the dextral shell to the left was adequate for sand discharge. Sinistral shells were rotated in both directions. Analysis of recorded videotapes showed that variation in rotation direction could be attributed to variation in the position of the crab relative to the shell. When the crab faced the shell aperture from the inner lip, it rotated the sinistral shell to the right, and to opposite direction when it faced from the outer lip side. The crab always pushed the upper side of the horizontally laid shell, regardless of shell type or its own position.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Barnes, R.D. 1980 Invertebrate zoology. 4th ed. Saunders College, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  2. Dowds, B.M. & R.W. Elwood 1983 Shell wars: Assessment strategies and the timing of decisions in hermit crab shell fights.Behaviour 85: 1–24.Google Scholar
  3. Eibl-Eibesfeldt, I. 1967 Grundriß der vergleichenden Verhaltensforschung Ethologie. R. Piper & Co., München, (Japanese translation by J. Itani & T. Minoguchi in 1978–79, Misuzu Shobo, Tokyo).Google Scholar
  4. Elwood, R.W. & P.M. Adams 1990. How hermit crabsPagurus bernhardus L. deal with obstructions in the apertures of shells.Ir. Nat. J. 23: 180–185.Google Scholar
  5. Hazlett, B.A. 1966 Social behavior of the Paguridae and Diogenidae of Curaçao.Stud. Fauna Curaçao 23: 1–143.Google Scholar
  6. Hazlett, B.A. 1981 The behavioral ecology of hermit crabs.Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 12: 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Imafuku, M. 1983 New shell acquisition in the hermit crab,Pagurus geminus.J. Ethol. 1: 91–100.Google Scholar
  8. Imafuku, M. 1985 Shell exchange of the hermit crabPagurus geminus.Nankiseibutu 27: 70–74. (In Japanese with English abstrac)Google Scholar
  9. Kinoshita, H. & A. Okajima 1968 Analysis of shell-searching behavior of the land hermitcrab,Coenobita rugosus H. Milne Edwards.J. Fac. Sci. Tokyo 2: 293–358.Google Scholar
  10. Masuko, K. 1984 Studies on the predatory biology of Oriental dacetine ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) I. Some Japanese species ofStrumigenys, Pentastruma, andEpitritus and a MalaysianLabidogenys, with special reference to hunting tactics in short-mandibulate formsInsect. Soc. 31: 429–451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. McLean, R.B. 1974 Direct shell acquisition by hermit crabs from gastropods.Experientia 30: 206–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Radinovsky, S. & A. Henderson 1974 The shell game.Nat. Hist. 83: 22–29.Google Scholar
  13. Reese, E.S. 1963 The behavioral mechanisms underlying shell selection by hermit crabs.Behaviour 21: 78–126.Google Scholar
  14. Reese, E.S. 1969 Behavioral adaptation of intertidal hermit crabs.Am. Zool. 9: 343–355.Google Scholar
  15. Scully, E.P. 1983. The behavioral ecology of competition and resource utilization among hermit crabs. In: S. Rebach & D.W. Dunham (eds.)Studies in adaptation. The behavior of higher Crustacea. pp.23–55. John Wiley & Sons, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Japan Ethological Society 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michio Imafuku
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyKyoto UniversitySakyo, KyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations