Interspecific assistance: Fiddler crabs help heterospecific neighbours in territory defence

Isobel Booksmythe, Michael D. Jennions, Patricia R.Y. Backwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Theory predicts that territory owners will help established neighbours to repel intruders, when doing so is less costly than renegotiating boundaries with successful usurpers of neighbouring territories. Here, we show for the first time, to our knowledge, cooperative territory defence between heterospecific male neighbours in the fiddler crabs Uca elegans and Uca mjoebergi. We show experimentally that resident U. elegans were equally likely to help a smaller U. mjoebergi or U. elegans neighbour during simulated intrusions by intermediate sized U. elegans males (50% of cases for both). Helping was, however, significantly less likely to occur when the intruder was a U. mjoebergi male (only 15% of cases).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)748-750
Number of pages3
JournalBiology Letters
Volume6
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cooperative defence
  • Interspecific
  • Neighbour
  • Territory
  • Uca

Cite this

Booksmythe, Isobel ; Jennions, Michael D. ; Backwell, Patricia R.Y. / Interspecific assistance : Fiddler crabs help heterospecific neighbours in territory defence. In: Biology Letters. 2010 ; Vol. 6, No. 6. pp. 748-750.
@article{1b109ffc1b004158b3d70f2c72da6ec9,
title = "Interspecific assistance: Fiddler crabs help heterospecific neighbours in territory defence",
abstract = "Theory predicts that territory owners will help established neighbours to repel intruders, when doing so is less costly than renegotiating boundaries with successful usurpers of neighbouring territories. Here, we show for the first time, to our knowledge, cooperative territory defence between heterospecific male neighbours in the fiddler crabs Uca elegans and Uca mjoebergi. We show experimentally that resident U. elegans were equally likely to help a smaller U. mjoebergi or U. elegans neighbour during simulated intrusions by intermediate sized U. elegans males (50{\%} of cases for both). Helping was, however, significantly less likely to occur when the intruder was a U. mjoebergi male (only 15{\%} of cases).",
keywords = "Cooperative defence, Interspecific, Neighbour, Territory, Uca",
author = "Isobel Booksmythe and Jennions, {Michael D.} and Backwell, {Patricia R.Y.}",
year = "2010",
month = "12",
day = "23",
doi = "10.1098/rsbl.2010.0454",
language = "English",
volume = "6",
pages = "748--750",
journal = "Biology Letters",
issn = "1744-9561",
publisher = "Royal Society, The",
number = "6",

}

Interspecific assistance : Fiddler crabs help heterospecific neighbours in territory defence. / Booksmythe, Isobel; Jennions, Michael D.; Backwell, Patricia R.Y.

In: Biology Letters, Vol. 6, No. 6, 23.12.2010, p. 748-750.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Interspecific assistance

T2 - Fiddler crabs help heterospecific neighbours in territory defence

AU - Booksmythe, Isobel

AU - Jennions, Michael D.

AU - Backwell, Patricia R.Y.

PY - 2010/12/23

Y1 - 2010/12/23

N2 - Theory predicts that territory owners will help established neighbours to repel intruders, when doing so is less costly than renegotiating boundaries with successful usurpers of neighbouring territories. Here, we show for the first time, to our knowledge, cooperative territory defence between heterospecific male neighbours in the fiddler crabs Uca elegans and Uca mjoebergi. We show experimentally that resident U. elegans were equally likely to help a smaller U. mjoebergi or U. elegans neighbour during simulated intrusions by intermediate sized U. elegans males (50% of cases for both). Helping was, however, significantly less likely to occur when the intruder was a U. mjoebergi male (only 15% of cases).

AB - Theory predicts that territory owners will help established neighbours to repel intruders, when doing so is less costly than renegotiating boundaries with successful usurpers of neighbouring territories. Here, we show for the first time, to our knowledge, cooperative territory defence between heterospecific male neighbours in the fiddler crabs Uca elegans and Uca mjoebergi. We show experimentally that resident U. elegans were equally likely to help a smaller U. mjoebergi or U. elegans neighbour during simulated intrusions by intermediate sized U. elegans males (50% of cases for both). Helping was, however, significantly less likely to occur when the intruder was a U. mjoebergi male (only 15% of cases).

KW - Cooperative defence

KW - Interspecific

KW - Neighbour

KW - Territory

KW - Uca

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=78649829879&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0454

DO - 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0454

M3 - Article

VL - 6

SP - 748

EP - 750

JO - Biology Letters

JF - Biology Letters

SN - 1744-9561

IS - 6

ER -