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Hood construction as a spacing mechanism inCleistostoma kuwaitense (Crustacea: Ocypodidae)


The ocypodid crabCleistostoma kuwaitense inhabits the upper shores of the mudflats of Kuwait, where it constructs a semi-permanent mud hood over the entrance to its burrow. Between September and November 1986, data were collected on the distribution and orientation of the hoods and their openings to investigate the crab's social spacing system. Irrespective of density, the distribution of burrow hoods is non-random, tending towards a regular dispersion. A contributory factor for this dispersion pattern is that the surface hoods tend to increase the distance between adjacent burrows. The hood openings are randomly distributed with respect to compass direction but avoid directly facing those of nearest neighbours. In the absence of burrow plugging and eviction as used by other ocypodid crabs, construction of elongated hoods appears to be a good alternative for ensuring social spacing.

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Communicated by O. Kinne, Oldendorf/Luhe

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Clayton, D.A. Hood construction as a spacing mechanism inCleistostoma kuwaitense (Crustacea: Ocypodidae). Mar. Biol. 99, 57–61 (1988).

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  • Contributory Factor
  • Good Alternative
  • Kuwait
  • Social Spacing
  • Spacing System