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Eavesdropping in crabs: an agency for lady detection

Milner, Richard; Jennions, Michael; Backwell, Patricia

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Although conspicuous courtship displays are an effective way of attracting the attention of receptive females, they could provide valuable information to rival males on the location of these females. In fiddler crabs, males that see a receptive female wave their single, greatly enlarged claw in a highly conspicuous courtship display. We test whether other males use this courtship display to alert them to the presence of receptive females that they cannot directly see. We show that male fiddler...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorMilner, Richard
dc.contributor.authorJennions, Michael
dc.contributor.authorBackwell, Patricia
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-10T23:04:05Z
dc.identifier.issn1744-9561
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/62220
dc.description.abstractAlthough conspicuous courtship displays are an effective way of attracting the attention of receptive females, they could provide valuable information to rival males on the location of these females. In fiddler crabs, males that see a receptive female wave their single, greatly enlarged claw in a highly conspicuous courtship display. We test whether other males use this courtship display to alert them to the presence of receptive females that they cannot directly see. We show that male fiddler crabs (Uca mjoebergi ) eavesdrop on the courtship displays of nearby males to detect mate-searching females. This allows males to begin waving before a female becomes visible. Furthermore, males appear to adjust their waving according to the information available: eavesdropping males wave 12 times faster than non-courting males but only 1.7 times slower than males in full visual contact with the female.
dc.publisherRoyal Society of London
dc.sourceBiology Letters
dc.subjectKeywords: crab; display behavior; mate attraction; reproductive strategy; visualization; animal; animal behavior; animal communication; article; Brachyura; female; male; physiology; sexual behavior; Animal Communication; Animals; Behavior, Animal; Brachyura; Female Animal communication; Eavesdropping; Fiddler crabs; Mate attraction; Uca mjoebergi
dc.titleEavesdropping in crabs: an agency for lady detection
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume6
dc.date.issued2010
local.identifier.absfor060201 - Behavioural Ecology
local.identifier.ariespublicationu9511635xPUB677
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationMilner, Richard, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationJennions, Michael, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationBackwell, Patricia, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage755
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage757
local.identifier.doi10.1098/rsbl.2010.0384
local.identifier.absseo970106 - Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T12:07:42Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-78649805694
local.identifier.thomsonID000284104000010
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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