The opposite effects of routine metabolic rate and metabolic rate during startle responses on variation in the predictability of behaviour in hermit crabs

Mariana Velasque, Mark Briffa

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Studies on animal behaviour have suggested a link between personality and energy expenditure. However, most models assume constant variation within individuals, even though individuals vary between observations. Such variation is called intraindividual variation in behaviour (IIV). We investigate if IIV in the duration of the startle response is associated with metabolic rates (MR) in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus. We repeatedly measured startle response durations and MR during each observation. We used double hierarchical generalized linear models to ask whether among and IIV in behaviour was underpinned by MR. We found no association between the mean duration of the startle responses and either routine MR or MR during startle response. Nevertheless, we found that IIV increased with MR during startle responses and decreased with routine MR. These results indicate that crabs with higher MR during startle responses behave less predictably, and that predictability is reduced during exposure to elevated temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1545-1566
Number of pages22
Issue number13-14
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • intraindividual variation
  • life-history strategies
  • pace-of-life syndrome
  • personality
  • predictability

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