Skip to content

What animals prey on fiddler crabs and how do fiddler crabs avoid predation?

What animals prey on fiddler crabs and how do fiddler crabs avoid predation?

Predators of the fiddler crab include raccoons, birds, fish, and larger crabs (Teal, 1958). Many organisms have developed chemical, morpholog- ical, and behavioral anti-predator mechanisms. In the fiddler crab, the most obvious predator defense is the dominant enlarged claw of the males.

Do fiddler crabs fight?

Male fiddler crabs (Uca lactea) fight aggressively over territory and burrows. Their prized weapon is their enlarged major claw, which grows on either the left or right side.

How did the fiddler crab get its name?

Fiddler crabs can be a variety of colors, ranging from violet to black, with the males usually being the most colorful. This genus of crabs gets their name from the asymmetrical claws seen on the male crabs. One claw is much larger than the other and is held up by the crab, similar to the way a fiddle would be held.

How does a fiddler crab intimidate a male?

Some species use “dishonest signaling” to intimidate males. The Uca mjoebergi often grows a weaker claw if it loses one, but continues signaling with it to intimidate stronger crabs. Males can’t use their major claw to feed, so females are much more efficient at feeding because they can use both claws.

What happens to a fiddler crab when it loses its claw?

If a male loses his larger claw, the smaller one will begin to grow larger and the lost claw will regenerate into a new (small) claw. For at least some species of fiddler crabs, however, the small claw remains small, while the larger claw regenerates over a period of several molts, being about half its former size after the first molt.

What kind of social system does a fiddler crab have?

Typical Fiddler crab social system. Males wave their enlarged claw to attract females for mating. When a female is ready to mate (i.e. she has ripe ovaries), she will leave her own burrow and wanders through the population of waving males.