Male-biased predation of a fiddler crab

Tsunenori Koga, Patricia R.Y. Backwell, John H. Christy, Minoru Murai, Eiiti Kasuya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Great-tailed grackles, Quiscalus mexicanus, prey on fiddler crabs, Uca beebei, either by running straight at them or by running past them then angling sharply back to strike. Grackles that used angled runs caught only males and were twice as successful as birds that used straight runs and caught equal numbers of males and females. Why do grackles that use angled runs catch only males? Males were not differentially available, nor did grackles prefer them to females in choice tests. Fewer crabs entered their burrows when we moved a model predator past them than when we moved it directly towards them and crabs allowed the model to get closer when it passed then returned to strike. Although crabs may take more risks when birds use angled runs, the sexes did not differ in their escape responses. Hence, differential risk taking cannot explain male-biased predation by birds using angled runs. We suggest that males, with their large claws and lighter colours, are more conspicuous than cryptic females. When a bird runs past then turns to dash back at a crab it may be able to keep track of a male much better than a female. Indeed, grackles missed all females they struck at using angled runs. Hence, males may be conspicuous and preferred prey to birds using angled runs. Males' enlarged claws, bright colours and other sexually selected traits may increase male predation rate in this context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-207
Number of pages7
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume62
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2001

Fingerprint

crab
crabs
predation
bird
birds
claws
Quiscalus
angling
color
sport fishing
burrow
burrows
predator
predators
gender

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Koga, T., Backwell, P. R. Y., Christy, J. H., Murai, M., & Kasuya, E. (2001). Male-biased predation of a fiddler crab. Animal Behaviour, 62(2), 201-207. https://doi.org/10.1006/anbe.2001.1740

Male-biased predation of a fiddler crab. / Koga, Tsunenori; Backwell, Patricia R.Y.; Christy, John H.; Murai, Minoru; Kasuya, Eiiti.

In: Animal Behaviour, Vol. 62, No. 2, 01.01.2001, p. 201-207.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Koga, T, Backwell, PRY, Christy, JH, Murai, M & Kasuya, E 2001, 'Male-biased predation of a fiddler crab', Animal Behaviour, vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 201-207. https://doi.org/10.1006/anbe.2001.1740
Koga T, Backwell PRY, Christy JH, Murai M, Kasuya E. Male-biased predation of a fiddler crab. Animal Behaviour. 2001 Jan 1;62(2):201-207. https://doi.org/10.1006/anbe.2001.1740
Koga, Tsunenori ; Backwell, Patricia R.Y. ; Christy, John H. ; Murai, Minoru ; Kasuya, Eiiti. / Male-biased predation of a fiddler crab. In: Animal Behaviour. 2001 ; Vol. 62, No. 2. pp. 201-207.
@article{c83483c100264fc68f245f484bee6acd,
title = "Male-biased predation of a fiddler crab",
abstract = "Great-tailed grackles, Quiscalus mexicanus, prey on fiddler crabs, Uca beebei, either by running straight at them or by running past them then angling sharply back to strike. Grackles that used angled runs caught only males and were twice as successful as birds that used straight runs and caught equal numbers of males and females. Why do grackles that use angled runs catch only males? Males were not differentially available, nor did grackles prefer them to females in choice tests. Fewer crabs entered their burrows when we moved a model predator past them than when we moved it directly towards them and crabs allowed the model to get closer when it passed then returned to strike. Although crabs may take more risks when birds use angled runs, the sexes did not differ in their escape responses. Hence, differential risk taking cannot explain male-biased predation by birds using angled runs. We suggest that males, with their large claws and lighter colours, are more conspicuous than cryptic females. When a bird runs past then turns to dash back at a crab it may be able to keep track of a male much better than a female. Indeed, grackles missed all females they struck at using angled runs. Hence, males may be conspicuous and preferred prey to birds using angled runs. Males' enlarged claws, bright colours and other sexually selected traits may increase male predation rate in this context.",
author = "Tsunenori Koga and Backwell, {Patricia R.Y.} and Christy, {John H.} and Minoru Murai and Eiiti Kasuya",
year = "2001",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1006/anbe.2001.1740",
language = "English",
volume = "62",
pages = "201--207",
journal = "Animal Behaviour",
issn = "0003-3472",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Male-biased predation of a fiddler crab

AU - Koga, Tsunenori

AU - Backwell, Patricia R.Y.

AU - Christy, John H.

AU - Murai, Minoru

AU - Kasuya, Eiiti

PY - 2001/1/1

Y1 - 2001/1/1

N2 - Great-tailed grackles, Quiscalus mexicanus, prey on fiddler crabs, Uca beebei, either by running straight at them or by running past them then angling sharply back to strike. Grackles that used angled runs caught only males and were twice as successful as birds that used straight runs and caught equal numbers of males and females. Why do grackles that use angled runs catch only males? Males were not differentially available, nor did grackles prefer them to females in choice tests. Fewer crabs entered their burrows when we moved a model predator past them than when we moved it directly towards them and crabs allowed the model to get closer when it passed then returned to strike. Although crabs may take more risks when birds use angled runs, the sexes did not differ in their escape responses. Hence, differential risk taking cannot explain male-biased predation by birds using angled runs. We suggest that males, with their large claws and lighter colours, are more conspicuous than cryptic females. When a bird runs past then turns to dash back at a crab it may be able to keep track of a male much better than a female. Indeed, grackles missed all females they struck at using angled runs. Hence, males may be conspicuous and preferred prey to birds using angled runs. Males' enlarged claws, bright colours and other sexually selected traits may increase male predation rate in this context.

AB - Great-tailed grackles, Quiscalus mexicanus, prey on fiddler crabs, Uca beebei, either by running straight at them or by running past them then angling sharply back to strike. Grackles that used angled runs caught only males and were twice as successful as birds that used straight runs and caught equal numbers of males and females. Why do grackles that use angled runs catch only males? Males were not differentially available, nor did grackles prefer them to females in choice tests. Fewer crabs entered their burrows when we moved a model predator past them than when we moved it directly towards them and crabs allowed the model to get closer when it passed then returned to strike. Although crabs may take more risks when birds use angled runs, the sexes did not differ in their escape responses. Hence, differential risk taking cannot explain male-biased predation by birds using angled runs. We suggest that males, with their large claws and lighter colours, are more conspicuous than cryptic females. When a bird runs past then turns to dash back at a crab it may be able to keep track of a male much better than a female. Indeed, grackles missed all females they struck at using angled runs. Hence, males may be conspicuous and preferred prey to birds using angled runs. Males' enlarged claws, bright colours and other sexually selected traits may increase male predation rate in this context.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0034859115&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0034859115&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1006/anbe.2001.1740

DO - 10.1006/anbe.2001.1740

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0034859115

VL - 62

SP - 201

EP - 207

JO - Animal Behaviour

JF - Animal Behaviour

SN - 0003-3472

IS - 2

ER -