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Tree fidelity and hole fidelity in the tree crab Sesarma leptosoma (Decapoda, Grapsidae)
Cannicci, S.; Ritossa, S.; Ruwa, R.K.; Vannini, M. (1996). Tree fidelity and hole fidelity in the tree crab Sesarma leptosoma (Decapoda, Grapsidae). J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 196: 299-311
In: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Elsevier: New York. ISSN 0022-0981; e-ISSN 1879-1697, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Keywords
    Homing
    Animalia [WoRMS]
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Cannicci, S.
  • Ritossa, S.
  • Ruwa, R.K., more
  • Vannini, M., more

Abstract
    Sesarma leptosoma is a small grapsid crab which lives on the roots of mangrove trees of the East African coast and migrates twice a day to and from the canopy, spending the hottest hours of the day and most of the night within the root system. When not feeding on the canopy this crab hides in small crevices which the aerial roots of Rhizophora mucronata form on entering the mud surface, or it feeds, at low tide, by scraping the bark on the roots. Crabs marked and released on the tree of capture remained on it throughout the observation period (6 days). Specimens marked and then dislocated to trees 7 m distant were able to return to the tree of origin in a few days. Crabs dislocated 16 m away tended not to remain on the displacement tree, but they were never seen back on their own tree. Observations performed over a 16-day period showed that individually marked crabs, after each of the two daily migrations, went back to one, or at most two, well-defined small root crevices. The short-distance homing ability and the strong fidelity to a well-defined area shown by S. leptosoma are interpreted as behavioural mechanisms evolved to avoid high predatory pressure.

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