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Title: Local Ecological Knowledge and Biology of the Land Crab Cardisoma hirtipes (Decapoda: Gecarcinidae) at West Nggela, Solomon Islands 
Author: Foale, Simon
Date: 1999-01
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Foale S. 1999. Local ecological knowledge and biology of the land crab Cardisoma hirtipes (Decapoda: Gecarcinidae) at West Nggela, Solomon Islands. Pac Sci 53(1): 37-49.
Abstract: A rich body of local knowledge on the behavior and reproductive
biology of the land crab Cardisoma hirtipes (called Kakau Tina in the Ngge1a
language) is reported here from West Nggela, Solomon Islands. Aspects of
West Nggela local knowledge about C. hirtipes were verified by observation,
reports, and studies of the reproductive condition of crabs during the 19951996
wet season at West Nggela. Local ecological knowledge appeared to inform
harvesting strategies and was congruent with scientific knowledge about
the crabs. A behavior known as "dipping," displayed by C. hirtipes before
mating and ovulation, is well known to the Ngge1a people, but has not been
reported in the biological literature for this species. Nggela people harvest C.
hirtipes in large numbers when the crabs are dipping and can accurately predict
the diel, lunar, and seasonal timing of this event. Cardisoma carnifex (Tubala in
Nggela), which occurs in smaller numbers at West Ngge1a, plays a relatively
minor role in the subsistence economy, and comparatively little local knowledge
on its behavior and breeding biology was found.
ISSN: 0030-8870

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