Intraspecific Deception by Bluffing: A Defense Strategy of Newly Molted Stomatopods (Arthropoda: Crustacea)

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Science  05 Aug 1983:
Vol. 221, Issue 4610, pp. 558-560
DOI: 10.1126/science.221.4610.558


After molting, stomatopods can be evicted easily from home cavities by conspecifics because these marine crustaceans lose temporarily their body armor and the use of their raptorial appendages. Some newly molted stomatopods defend their cavities with a meral spread display, a signal correlated with attack when used by animals between molts. The use of the meral spread display actually increases after molting. Since new molts cannot fight, their use of meral spread appears to be a bluff.