fiddler crab


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fiddler crab,

common name for small, amphibious crabscrab,
crustacean with an enlarged cephalothorax covered by a broad, flat shell called the carapace. Extending from the cephalothorax are the various appendages: five pairs of legs, the first pair bearing claws (or pincers), are attached at the sides; two eyes on short, movable
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 belonging to the genus Uca. They are characterized by a rectangular carapace (shell) and a narrow abdomen, which is flexed under the body. They are called fiddler crabs because the males have one enormous claw, held in front of the body like a fiddle. This claw often contrasts in color with the rest of the body, and is used by the male at certain times of the year to attract females in a complicated courtship display procedure, characteristically different in each species of Uca. The claw also functions to warn off intruders and to establish territories. The female Uca has two small claws on the first appendages. Some species of fiddler crabs live on sandy beaches that are somewhat protected from extreme wave action. Others live in muddy marshes and estuaries. The Uca species living on sandy beaches, such as the common Atlantic fiddler, U. pugilator, make burrows about 1 ft (30 cm) deep, just below the high tide line. The sand is carried to the surface by specialized legs of the crab, and pushed away from the entrance. Fiddler crabs are poor swimmers and rarely enter the water during their adult lives. During the spring and summer, the fiddlers remain in their burrows only during high tide periods. The entrances of the burrows are covered with sand, and the burrows contain a bubble of air, which the crabs use for respiration. When the tide ebbs, the fiddlers emerge and scurry about, collecting food in the drift lines left by the ebbing water. Both claws of the female and the smaller claw of the male are used to scoop up sand and pass the grains to the mouthparts. Certain specialized appendages (the first and second maxillipeds) have spoon-shaped setae, used to scour organic matter from the sand grains and pass it to the mouth. The sand grains are then rejected in the form of small sand balls. After mating, the female fiddler crab carries the fertilized eggs under her flexed abdomen. Certain cyclic changes occur in Uca (as well as in some other crustaceans), such as changes in pigmentation. During the day the crabs are dark; at night they are pale. Fiddler crabs are classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, subphylum Crustacea, order Decapoda.
References in periodicals archive ?
(1995, 1996, 1997) provided evidence that methionineenkephalin slowed ovarian maturation in the fiddler crab Uca pugilator and the crayfish Procambarus clarkii, and suggested that methionine-enkephalin produces this effect indirectly by stimulating the release of gonad-inhibiting hormone from eyestalks.
Effects of neuroendocrine tissue and cyclic AMP on ovarian growth in vivo and in vitro in the fiddler crab. Uca pugilator Comp.
When drum fishing in the backwater flats, or close to oyster bars with both chunks of blue crabs, or fiddler crabs, the best tide is an hour before and after high tide.
The reduced survival and the prolonged planktonic period caused by different regimes of larval starvation or feeding may affect the recruitment success, and thus the dynamics and maintenance, of fiddler crab populations within mangrove estuaries.
Toss a few of the barnacles and grass into the water for chum, barb a live fiddler crab and fish the crab just a few inches off the bottom and close to the pilings.
Population structure and reproductive biology of the fiddler crab Uca inversa (Hoffman, 1874) (Brachyura: Ocypodidae).
Fiddler crab populations do not usually present significant deviations of the 1:1 sexual proportion (Costa & Negreiros-Fransozo, 2003; Koch et al., 2005; Bezerra & Matthews-Cascon, 2006, 2007; Castiglioni et al., 2010).
Thurman, "The geographic structure of morphological variation in eight species of fiddler crabs (Ocypodidae: genus Uca) from the eastern United States and Mexico," Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, vol.
throat, unveil the stranger walking among you like a fiddler crab at the
Elevated Predation Risk Changes Mating Behaviour and Courtship in a Fiddler Crab. Proc.
He moved in reverse like the fiddler crab zigging in the aisles of dirt."
Chitobiase activity in the epidermis and hepatopancreas of the fiddler crab Uca pugilator during the molting cycle.