Iheringia. Série Zoologia
versión impresa ISSN 0073-4721
AYRES-PERES, Luciane et al. Occupation of gastropod shells by hermit crabs (Decapoda, Anomura) in the littoral of Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Iheringia, Sér. Zool. [online]. 2008, vol.98, n.2, pp. 218-224. ISSN 0073-4721. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0073-47212008000200009.
The present study aimed to characterize the shell occupation by hermit crabs at the Rio Grande city, state of Rio Grande do Sul. Animals were sampled at 14 radials in Rio Grande, between 12 and 50 meters depth. Each hermit crab and its respective shell were identified, weighted and measured. A total of 408 animals were captured, of families Paguridae and Diogenidae; the most abundant species were Dardanus insignis (de Saussure, 1858) and Loxopagurus loxochelis (Moreira, 1901). The animals occupied shells from 13 gastropod species, mainly of Buccinanops lamarckii (Kiener, 1834) and B. gradatum (Deshayes, 1844). Dardanus insignis utilized shells from 12 of the 13 mollusks species registered; L. loxochelis from nine ones. In a general way, the shell occupation patterns present a correlation between the hermit crab size and the shell size, in the case of the two most abundant species the strongest correlation was between their size/weight and shell aperture width, evidencing that shells occupation is given not only by their local availability, but also by the relationship between hermit crabs variables and gastropod shells.
Palabras llave : Shell preference; Dardanus insignis; Loxopagurus loxochelis; south Brazilian coast.