Advertisement

Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 237–242 | Cite as

Weapon size versus body size as a predictor of winning in fights between shore crabs, Carcinus maenas (L.)

  • Lynne U. Sneddon
  • Felicity A. Huntingford
  • Alan C. Taylor
Article

Abstract

Relative body size (carapace width) and weapon size (chela length) were used as indicators of resource holding potential (RHP) in the agonistic behaviour of male shore crabs, Carcinus maenas (L.). Weapon size was found to be a more reliable predictor of the outcome of pairwise fights than body size. Crabs with longer chelae than their opponents were more likely to win fights than crabs with relatively larger bodies. Body size had less influence on the outcome of fights. Relative body and weapon size did not influence initiation of contests but did affect the likelihood of winning; however, this was significant only for weapon size. Winning crabs had heavier claws with greater surface area than losing crabs. There was no relationship between relative size and fight duration. The frequency of cheliped display increased with chela length and win- ners performed significantly more displays than losers.

Key words Agonistic behaviour   Relative size   Shore crab   Carcinus maenas   Resource holding potential 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lynne U. Sneddon
    • 1
  • Felicity A. Huntingford
    • 1
  • Alan C. Taylor
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK Tel.: (0141) 330 5985; e-mail: 9506043s@udcf.gla.ac.ukGB

Personalised recommendations