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Naureen Qureshi and Noor Saher (2012)

Burrow morphology of three species of fiddler crab (Uca) along the coast of Pakistan


Burrowing by crabs is an important component of their functional role in mangrove biotopes. The Fiddler crab (Uca) is one of the more conspicuous burrowing organisms in the mangrove areas of Pakistan. To evaluate interspecific differences in burrowing behaviour between three species of Uca (U. annulipes, U. chlorophthalmus and U. sindensis), we compared vegetation cover, sediment composition and burrow morphology by using plaster of Paris casts. Five burrow morphology characters were measured (burrow number, depth, length, volume, and diameter of the burrow openings). Nearly all the morphological characters of the burrows differed significantly between species. The burrow morphology variations were correlated with the tidal level (distance from the water mark during low tide), porosity, percent organic matter, vegetation cover and structure of the sediments. The species-specific differences in the burrows cautions against generalizing regarding the functional role of fiddler crabs along the coast of Pakistan.

burrows; fiddler crab; ecosystem engineer; biotopes; burrow cast; tidal height
  • ISSN: 0777-6276

ISSN 2295-0451 (online version)
ISSN 0777-6279 (printed version)
impact factor 2015: 0,87.

Prof. Dr. Isa Schön
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Vautierstraat 29
1000 Brussels, Belgium


Annales de la Société malacologique de Belgique
​Annales de la Société royale malacologique et zoologique de Belgique
Annales de la Société Royale Zoologique de Belgique
Belgian Journal of Zoology