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Effects of shell stress on the growth of hermit crabs
Fotheringham, N. (1976). Effects of shell stress on the growth of hermit crabs. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 23(3): 299-305. hdl.handle.net/10.1016/0022-0981(76)90027-7
In: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Elsevier: New York. ISSN 0022-0981, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Clibanarius vittatus (Bosc, 1802) [WoRMS]; Pagurus longicarpus Say, 1817 [WoRMS]; Pagurus pollicaris Say, 1817 [WoRMS]; Marine

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  • Fotheringham, N.

Abstract
    Growth rates of the hermit crabs Pagurus longicarpus Say and P. pollicaris Say maintained in preferred shells and in shells smaller than the preferred size have been compared. Changes in wet weight, shield length, and duration of the molt cycle were determined. Crabs in preferred shells grew significantly faster than those in small shells. P. pollicaris molted at approximately the same rate in both cases but grew more each molt in preferred shells. Von Bertalanffy growth curves were fitted to changes in shield length among crabs in preferred shells. These curves indicate that P. longicarpus may mature four months after settling from the plankton and reach its asymptotic size within the next eight months while P. pollicaris also matures four months after leaving the plankton but does not reach its asymptotic size for approximately three years. The rapid growth of P. longicarpus may enable it to preempt shells which are required for the successful brooding of a large clutch before these shells are required by more aggressive competitors, such as P. pollicaris and Clibanarius vittatus.

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