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Comparison of structural aspects of shells used by hermit crabs (Crustaces, Decapoda, Anomura) grouped in the colonies Diopatra sp with non-grouped

Grant number: 12/20144-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2013
Effective date (End): December 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Animal Behavior
Principal researcher:Fosca Pedini Pereira Leite
Grantee:Ana Paula Ferreira
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Hermit crabs are crustaceans that have a non-sclerotized abdomen and live inside shells that they find in the environment. To facilitate the shells changing, they can reunite in a group (clusters) . These clusters may occur on various substrates, including biological, as Diopatra sp., polychaete tubiculous. The objective of this project is to compare the cluster's hermits with free ones, related to species, population structure and shell's quality besides observing the behavior of crabs at low tide, as the formation of clusters and exchange of shells. The study will be conducted at the Enseada Beach, in Caraguatatuba, north coast of São Paulo state. Four collects will be done at low tide, each one during three days. In each of these days will be demarcated in an area within which will be randomly selected and analyzed 10 clusters of Diopatra sp. In this same area, all free hermits will be counted and analyzed along the transect. It will also be demarcated an area of 50m X 5m, in which three observers will monitor the hermit crabs' behavior to form agglomerates and events in exchange shell, in periods when there is movement of water with the tide.

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