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A review of the biology and ecology of the Robber Crab, Birgus latro (Linnaeus, 1767) (Anomura: Coenobitidae)

M. M. Drew, S. Harzsch, M. Stensmyr, S. Erland, B. S. Hansson
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Journal Article
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Birgus latro (L.) is the largest terrestrial hermit crab in the world. The species is widely distributed on remote Indo-Pacific islands of the tropics, but it is rapidly declining and is currently classified as data deficient on the IUCN red list. This review provides a synopsis of both published and unpublished data on the biology and ecology of B. latro. It highlights the lack of robust biological information on the species' basic biology, particularly in the juvenile and reproductive phases, while behavioural ecology studies are few and report conflicting data between populations. Population studies indicate that B. latro may have limited recruitment events throughout its range, emphasising the need for more systematic research to clearly identify factors that influence successful recruitment events. The review highlights the paucity of substantiated peer reviewed studies on this species and emphasises the need for further systematic research.

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