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Evolutionary significance of prenuptial molting in female Pagurus hermit crabs

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Title: Evolutionary significance of prenuptial molting in female Pagurus hermit crabs
Authors: Wada, Satoshi Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Ito, Atsushi Browse this author
Mima, Azusa Browse this author
Issue Date: Nov-2007
Publisher: Springer Berlin / Heidelberg
Journal Title: Marine Biology
Volume: 152
Issue: 6
Start Page: 1263
End Page: 1270
Publisher DOI: 10.1007/s00227-007-0773-2
Abstract: Molting and breeding entail major energetic costs for female crustaceans. However, females of some hermit crabs perform a molt immediately prior to copulation (prenuptial molt). The evolutionary significance of the prenuptial molt was examined in Pagurus hermit crabs, and two hypotheses were tested: (1) prenuptial molt might enhance the success of the present clutch by cleaning the pleopods of females and thereby preventing eggs from being dislodged from the pleopods, and (2) prenuptial molt might function for growth and increase future fecundity at the cost of energetic expenditure on the present brood. Although these hypotheses are not mutually exclusive, our results rejected the former hypothesis and supported the latter hypothesis. All four Pagurus species examined showed significant negative relationships between prenuptial molting and continuity of breeding; i.e., they showed high molting frequency after they had a long rest period from breeding. Females of P. minutus increased their size through the prenuptial molt, and showed a decreased clutch size due to the molt. The number of dislodged eggs increased if females molted in P. minutus. These results suggest that hermit crabs undergoing a prenuptial molt might not gain any clear immediate advantage of enhanced survival of eggs in the present clutch, and that the prenuptial molt would mainly contribute to growth.
Rights: The original publication is available at
Type: article (author version)
Appears in Collections:水産科学院・水産科学研究院 (Graduate School of Fisheries Sciences / Faculty of Fisheries Sciences) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

Submitter: 和田 哲

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