Male fiddler crabs defend multiple burrows to attract additional females
AbstractMales of many species defend resources to attract females. Surprisingly, defense of multiple female breeding sites (e.g., nests or burrows) appears to be rare, primarily reported in fish and birds. In fiddler crabs, burrows are a vital resource for reproduction and survival. Both sexes defend individual territories centered on a single burrow. We examined burrow acquisition and defense in Uca capricornis to test whether males defend multiple burrows as a novel strategy to acquire additional mates. When crabs were experimentally forced to acquire a new burrow, females often settled into an empty burrow near resident males. We documented more empty burrows around males than expected by chance and, in addition, larger males had a greater proportion of empty burrows in their immediate vicinity. We experimentally introduced crabs into empty burrows next to focal males: newly introduced males were soon evicted, whereas females were courted and stayed. These results suggest that male U. capricornis defend empty burrows as a strategy to obtain more mates. Intriguingly, however, U. capricornis tend to occur in socially monogamous pairs. This raises the possibility of sexual conflict within social pairs over the presence of additional females and that female--female competition might constrain male mating success. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by International Society for Behavioral Ecology in its journal Behavioral Ecology.
Volume (Year): 22 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.