Spatial distribution of fiddler crabs (Genus Uca) in a tropical mangrove of northeast Brazil
Luis Ernesto Arruda Bezerra; Carolina Braga Dias and Helena Matthews-Cascon

The influence of abiotic factors on the spatial distribution of the fiddler crabs Uca leptodactyla, U. maracoani, U. rapax and U. thayeri was studied in a tropical mangrove of northeast Brazil. Eight transects were delimited in a mangrove area of the Pacoti River. On each transect, three 0.25 m2 squares were sampled during spring low tide periods from September 2003 to August 2004. The sediment of the squares at each transect was analysed for grain size, organic matter and humidity. Morphology of the second maxilliped was studied considering the number of spoon-tipped setae to help explain the ecological distribution of the species. U. leptodactyla and U. rapax were found living in medium sand, U. thayeri was collected in fine and very fine sand, while U. maracoani was found living in very fine sand. U. leptodactyla showed a negative correlation with organic matter and humidity while U. thayeri showed a positive correlations for both factors. U. maracoani and U. rapax were not correlated with organic matter or humidity. The analysis of the second maxilliped revealed that U. leptodactyla and U. rapax show a high quantity of spoon-tipped setae while U. maracoani and U. thayeri show a greater quantity of plumose setae.

Keywords: fiddler crab, spatial distribution, abiotic factors, second maxiliped analysis, tropical mangrove, northeast Brazil.
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 70(4) : 759-766 Back PDF
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