Pacific Science Volume 37, Number 2, 1983

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Pacific Science is a quarterly publication devoted to the biological and physical sciences of the Pacific Region.


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    37:2 Table of Contents - Pacific Science
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 1983-04)
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    Biology and Life Cycle of Siganus vermiculatus (Siganidae, Pisces)
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 1983-04) Gundermann, N. ; Popper, D.M. ; Lichatowich, T.
    The herbivorou s fish Siganus vermiculatus (Valenciennes) (Siganidae; Pisces), a mangrove swamp dweller, was studied in the field and in captivity in Fiji. The fish has a lunar spawning cycle, benthic sticky eggs, and pelagic larvae. Metamorphosis occurs between 23 and 27 days after hatching. The fry live in small schools in brackish or fresh water among mangrove roots. The young and adults are found mainly in shallow, murky water of mangrove swamps where they move in and out with the tides . The adults are sometimes seen in clear water near coral reefs or over sandy bottoms. Feeding takes place during the day and at night and consists mainly of grazing on algae and mangrove roots. A tolerance of extreme fluctuations in physicochemical parameters (temperature 19 to 38°C; salinity 2 to 55 ppt; dissolved oxygen 1.2ppm; pH 6.2 to 8.4) permits the species to live in mangrove swamps.
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    Patterns of Shell Resource Utilization by Terrestrial Hermit Crabs at Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 1983-04) Willason, S.W. ; Page, H.M.
    Patterns of gastropod shell utilization by Coenobita perlatus and C. rugosus were investigated on three islets of Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands. Habitat, hermit crab size, and hermit crab species all influenced the utilization of shells by Coenobita. Small crabs ( < 8mm carapace length) used 63 shell species, while large hermit crabs ( > 19mm) used only two species. Coenobita perlatus occupied long, narrow shells (e.g. , Rhinoclavis) more frequently than C. rugosus. By contrast, C. rugosus used shorter shells (e.g., Nerita) more frequently. Reproduction of C. rugosus, both the percentage of ovigerous females and fecundity, was not influenced by the shell species occupied.
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    Feeding Activity Patterns and Carrion Removal by Terrestrial Hermit Crabs at Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 1983-04) Page, H.M. ; Willason, S.W.
    Terrestrial hermit crabs (Coenobita spp.) were observed feeding on a variety of food items corresponding with observations on the genus worldwide . A field experiment was conducted which examined (1) the feeding activity of Coenobita in two habitats and (2) their potential impact on the removal of carrion and on the colonization of carrion by fly maggots. Habitat and time of day influenced the size and species of Coenobita feeding. Large C. perlatus fed only at night and had the greatest impact on the carrion. Although small Coenobita had little effect on the carrion, their feeding activity did reduce the number of fly maggots in the carrion. The scavenging activity of hermit crabs may serve a useful role on inhabited islets. The rapid removal of carrion would reduce potential fly breeding sites.
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    Preliminary Investigations of Burrow Defense and Intraspecific Aggression in the Sea Urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus
    (University of Hawai'i Press, 1983-04) Maier, Douglas ; Roe, Pamela
    Intraspecific aggressive burrow defense beha vior of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus was observed. An urchin occupying a burrow defends its position against intruders by moving out from the burrow and pushing the intruder away. Only spines are used in this behavior. When the intruder begins to retreat, usually within minutes, the occupant returns to the burrow. The burrow defense behavior of S. purpuratus was compared to that of the tropical urchin Echinometra lucunter.
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