Mating signals are often directed at numerous senses and provide information about species identity, gender, receptiveness, individual identity and mate quality. Given the diversity of colourful body patterns in invertebrates, surprisingly few studies have examined the role of these visual signals in mate recognition. Here, we demonstrate the use of claw coloration as a species recognition signal in a fiddler crab (Uca mjoebergi). Furthermore, we show that distinct carapace colour patterns in Uca capricornis enable males to discriminate between their female neighbours and unfamiliar females. This is the first empirical evidence of the social importance of colour markings in fiddler crabs and the first example of visually mediated species and neighbour recognition in invertebrates other than insects.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2006|