Laboratory and field studies of Hemigrapsus nudus reveal that bo 15 social and 12 maintenance behaviors. Social behaviors are used during defense of food, space, and mates. These aggressive interactions usually begin after contact. Aggression in the laboratory is more variable and involves more contact than confrontations in the field. Pairs of equal-sized H. nudus behave more aggressively than pairs of unequal-sized crabs. Males display more behavior resulting in contact than females. Resident crabs defend their space against invasion by nonresident crabs. Nonresidents leave the site of an encounter more frequently than residents.
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