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|Title: ||Density affects female and male mate searching in the fiddler crab, Uca beebei|
|Authors: ||deRivera, C. E.|
Backwell, P. R. Y.
Christy, J. H.
Vehrencamp, S. L.
|Issue Date: ||2003|
|Citation: ||Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 53: 72-83|
|Abstract: ||In most species, only one sex searches for mates while the other waits. Models of sex-specific mate-searching behavior predict single-sex searching, but the factors that determine which sex searches are not understood. In this study, we examine the effects of density and predation risk on mate-searching behavior in the fiddler crab Uca beebei. U. beebei is one of the few fiddler-crab species in which both sexes search for mates. In a field experiment conducted in Panama, we manipulated crab density and perceived predation risk in replicate plots. Females searched more and males searched less at high densities. At high levels of perceived predation risk, both sexes similarly reduced their search rates. Observations of plots that naturally varied in crab density show that females were more likely to search for mates in areas of higher density, where there were more males. Females may preferentially search for mates in high-density areas because the abundance of nearby burrows, into which they can run to escape predators, decreases their costs of searching and because the abundance of males and male burrows facilitates comparisons and thus may increase their benefits from searching. Males at high densities decrease their mate-searching rate perhaps in response to the increase in female searching and to the corresponding increase in the intensity of their competitors' mate-attraction signals.|
|Appears in Collections:||SERC Staff Publications|
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