Habitat preferences, behavior, and inter-species associations of the yellowline arrow crab (Stenorhynchus seticornis) in Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean

Stenorhynchus seticornis (Yellowline arrow crab) is a decapod crustacean native to the Western Atlantic in tropical and subtropical climates. Stenorhynchus seticornis is abundant in the Caribbean and has been studied associating with many different species from different phyla. Bonaire is a small island in the Southern Caribbean where S. seticornis is common, however no research on S. seticornis has been published on Bonaire. This study provides new information on S. seticornis and its ecological role on the reefs of Bonaire. This study examined the habitat type, habitat substrates, behaviors, and inter-species associations of S. seticornis by surveying at two depths, 8 and 14 m. Stenorhynchus seticornis was observed more frequently at 14 m (n = 53) compared to 8 m (n = 27). There was a higher frequency of inter-species associations and more total species observed associating at 14 m compared to 8 m. The majority of S. seticornis at 8 m were observed on sand under ledges, while at 14 m S. seticornis were recorded primarily on turf algae in crevices. The predominant behavior of S. seticornis at 8 and 14 m were eating and hiding respectively. The data collected contributes new information about S. seticornis, which is an abundant crustacean in Bonaire and is not fully understood. The results suggest that S. seticornis associates across many phyla and could serve an important role in the larger coral reef ecosystem. 

This student research was retrieved from Physis: Journal of Marine Science XIX (Spring 2016)19: 35-41 from CIEE Bonaire.

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