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Old 04-07-2012, 07:52 PM   #1
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Fiddler Crab Being Wierd

I have a 2yr old fiddler named Harriot. She lives a nice 5 gal tank, sand bottom, sloped so she has water at one end, a nice beach on the other. On the beach is a nice cave built up of rocks and the bubbler at the other end that she likes to sit in the bubbles. A stick between both ends, fake hollow log in between with flowers. She has had many molts, always in private, then hides for a few days, then pretty visible. Will stand there and let us drop food right in front of her anymore. Will actually come and watch from a safe distance when we clean and scoop sand out. Heres the deal, the last couple days since we cleaned the tank, she has been baracading herself in the cave and pulling sand in to fill the entrance to the cave. I did catch her sneaking out to get food then go back in the cave and push sand in the doorway again. Any ideas???
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:35 AM   #2
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Do you happen to have a picture of her structure?
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:39 AM   #3
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Some info I came across:



"Multiple modes of sexual selection on a male trait. Courting males of about 17 species of fiddler crabs build sand or mud structures at the opening of their burrows to which they attract females for mating. Through direct observation and field experiments we are studying three causes of sexual selection of structure building in Uca beebei and Uca musica: 1) the differential attractiveness of structures, compared to unadorned burrow openings, to mate-sampling females, 2) the differential utility of structures as visual guideposts that males use to find their own burrows when courtship has produced errors in their non-visual orientation mechanism, which is based on path integration, 3) the differential effects of structures on the rate males detect, encounter and court females. Ultimately we hope to parse and measure the effects of each mode of sexual selection on structure building and design. Selection of mating preferences. We have shown experimentally that structures build by male fiddler crabs attract mate sampling females. Such preferences usually are thought to arise and be maintained by selection that is a consequence of mating males with the preferred trait. In this case, however, our studies strongly suggest that structures co-opt for mate choice a response that is selected by predation. Through field experiments we have shown that structures are attractive to males and females of species who don't build them, that females of structure building species do not prefer the structures built by males of their own species and that natural objects such a stones, shells and bits of wood are as attractive or more attractive than are male-built structures. Together the evidence indicates that male built structures elicit landmark orientation, the tendency of fiddler crabs to move toward and hide behind objects when they are at risk moving on the surface away from burrows, as are mate sampling females. Females who approach structures may benefit directly by reducing their mate search costs. We have shown that structure building is a condition-dependent trait suggesting that females may also benefit indirectly by mating structure builders. However such possible indirect benefits appear to be a fortuitous effect, rather than a cause of the evolution of the differential response to structures.
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