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Behavioural evidence for visual recognition of predators by the mangrove climbing crab Sesarma leptosoma
Cannicci, S.; Morino, L.; Vannini, M. (2002). Behavioural evidence for visual recognition of predators by the mangrove climbing crab Sesarma leptosoma. Anim. Behav. 63: 77-83. dx.doi.org/10.1006/anbe.2001.1882
In: Animal Behaviour. Academic Press: London,. ISSN 0003-3472, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Animal behaviour; Crabs; Mangroves; Epixanthus dentatus (White, 1848) [WoRMS]; Sesarma leptosoma Hilgendorf, 1869 [WoRMS]; ISW, Kenya, Mida Creek [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Cannicci, S., more
  • Morino, L.
  • Vannini, M., more

Abstract
    The climbing crab Sesarma leptosoma colonizes the mangrove roots and canopy of East African mangrove swamps, an intricate three-dimensional habitat in which it orients itself visually. To ascertain if vision helps this tree crab to detect dangers such as predators, we used dummy objects: (1) a preserved specimen of its predator, the crab Epixanthus dentatus in its typical ambush posture; (2) a piece of wood with real E. dentatus claws attached to it, the same size as, and painted to resemble (to the human eye), this predator; and (3) a piece of wood the same size and colour as a live crab but without claws. When these dummies were presented to migrating S. leptosoma in the field, they stopped their normal migratory flow only when they were able to see the open claws of the predator. Thus S. leptosoma showed a considerable ability to perceive shape, being able to distinguish motionless objects of different shapes but similar size and to associate the detected shapes with the presence of danger.

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