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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Different ontogenetic trajectories of body colour, pattern and crypsis in two sympatric intertidal crab species

Duarte, Rafael C. [1, 2] ; Dias, Gustavo M. [1] ; Flores, V, Augusto A. ; Stevens, Martin [3]
Total Authors: 4
[1] Univ Fed ABC UFABC, Ctr Ciencias Nat & Humanas, Sao Bernardo Do Campo - Brazil
[2] V, Univ Sao Paulo, Ctr Biol Marinha, Sao Sebastiao - Brazil
[3] Univ Exeter, Ctr Ecol & Conservat, Penryn Campus, Exeter, Devon - England
Total Affiliations: 3
Document type: Journal article
Source: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society; v. 132, n. 1, p. 17-31, JAN 2021.
Web of Science Citations: 0

Animals frequently exhibit great variation in appearance, especially in heterogeneous habitats where individuals can be concealed differentially against backgrounds. Although background matching is a common anti-predator strategy, gaps exist in our understanding of within- and among-species variation. Specifically, the drivers of changes in appearance associated with habitat use and occurring through ontogeny are poorly understood. Using image analysis, we tested how individual appearance and camouflage in two intertidal crab species, the mud crab Panopeus americanus and the mottled crab Pachygrapsus transversus, relate to ontogeny and habitat use. We predicted that both species would change appearance with ontogeny, but that resident mud crabs would exhibit higher background similarity than generalist mottled crabs. Both species showed ontogenetic changes; the mud crabs became darker, whereas mottled crabs became more green. Small mud crabs were highly variable in colour and pattern, probably stemming from the use of camouflage in heterogeneous habitats during the most vulnerable life stage. Being habitat specialists, mud crabs were better concealed against all backgrounds than mottled crabs. Mottled crabs are motile and generalist, occupying macroalgae-covered rocks when adults, which explains why they are greener and why matches to specific habitats are less valuable. Differential habitat use in crabs can be associated with different coloration and camouflage strategies to avoid predation. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 19/01934-3 - Colour change and camouflage in coastal benthic crustaceans: occurrence, selective pressures and ecological function
Grantee:Rafael Campos Duarte
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
FAPESP's process: 15/22258-5 - Strengthening of the scientific collaboration between the Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter, UK, and the Centre for Marine Biology, University of São Paulo
Grantee:Augusto Alberto Valero Flores
Support type: Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
FAPESP's process: 19/15628-1 - Effect of light pollution, habitat complexity and proximity to coastal infrastructures on the dynamics and diversity of marine benthic communities
Grantee:Gustavo Muniz Dias
Support type: Regular Research Grants