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Title: The function of colourful facial bands in mangrove crab (Perisesarma) communication
Authors: Todd, P.A. 
Wang, W.Y.
Huang, H.
Belle, C.C. 
Lim, M.L.M. 
Yeo, D.C.J. 
Keywords: Behaviour
Mangrove crab
Resource holding potential
Issue Date: 15-Oct-2011
Citation: Todd, P.A., Wang, W.Y., Huang, H., Belle, C.C., Lim, M.L.M., Yeo, D.C.J. (2011-10-15). The function of colourful facial bands in mangrove crab (Perisesarma) communication. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 407 (1) : 26-33. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Bright colours are a key visual signal in many animal communication systems. Here we examine the function of the blue-green facial bands found in two species of mangrove crabs, Perisesarma eumolpe (De Man) and P. indiarum (Tweedie). Food (mangrove leaves) deprivation and re-feeding experiments demonstrated that facial band brightness and saturation changed significantly with nutritional status. These results suggest that the colours are diet-derived and could be carotenoid-based. Manipulation of the facial bands had significant effects on inter-crab behaviour. When P. indiarum and P. eumolpe males were given a choice between a female with its facial band blacked out and a similar-sized control female with natural colour, they consistently chose the latter. In a resource holding potential (RHP) experiment, male crabs defending burrows responded differently to male con-specific intruders with blacked out facial bands compared to non-blacked out controls. Together, the results show that brightly coloured facial bands in P. eumolpe and P. indiarum are important for communication; either as a way to identify conspecifics, or to convey nutritional status and hence physical quality. © 2011.
Source Title: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
ISSN: 00220981
DOI: 10.1016/j.jembe.2011.07.013
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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