Land Hermit Crabs Congregate on Anoles’ Sleeping Perches

Recently I was on Long Island alongside Graham and his team capturing Anolis sagrei. For our last night survey, we collected female lizards from a beach scrub habitat in McKanns (23.38831, -75.1408). During such a survey, we used headlamps to search for sleeping lizards perched on branches and leaves. At other sites we frequently found lizards on vegetation along the trails. At McKanns, land hermit crabs (Coenobita spp.) were congregated in high numbers on such vegetation. We seldom found lizards perching on plants where hermit crabs congregated.

Photo by Alberto Puente

Land hermit crabs (Coenobita spp.) active at night.  Photo by Alberto Puente

Most lizards perched further away from the trail on the broad leaves of Cocoloba uvifera where hermit crabs were seen less abundantly. Perhaps due to their large numbers and the fact that they were active at night, land hermit crabs might be occupying perches that would otherwise be used by Anolis sagrei.


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