Hyas spp. crabs and sea anemones—new species associations from Svalbard
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KeywordsSpecific Occasion Species Association Rocky Bottom Svalbard Archipelago Underwater Observation
Although sufficiently large sea anemones such as Urticina sp. have occasionally been noted in the past to feed on these crabs in this area (Gulliksen and Svensen 2004), it seems instead that the crabs, while avoiding contact with the tentacles, are searching for protection from predators (e.g. bottom-dwelling fish, octopus) as previously reported for other decapods, including those closely related to Hyas spp. (Ross 1983). More studies are needed to verify and confirm whether these associations have just a short-term facultative commensalistic character.
Agnieszka Kostrzynska and Michal Saniewski for underwater assistance, Tomasz Borszcz for surface support and Joanna Legezynska for valuable discussion. The study has been completed thanks to grant (DEC-2011/01/N/NZ8/04493) from the National Science Centre which provided financial support to PB.
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