Coral Guard-Crabs: T. bidentata

Copyright David Liittschwager
September 30, 2014
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Copyright David Liittschwager

Large guard-crabs belonging to Trapezia bidenta (above) were significantly less effective coral defenders than comparably sized T. serenei against sea star predation. In September 2014, Smithsonian scientists Seabird McKeon and Jenna Moore published new research highlighting the role of diversity in the healthy functioning of coral reef ecosystems, showing that guard-crab species and size classes offer different kinds of effective protection against various threats to coral reefs. (Photo Copyright David Liittschwager)