Rosenberg Lab | Research
Fiddler Crab Evolution and Ecology
Fiddler crabs (genus Uca) are a group of small, intertidal crabs in which males show a tremendous degree of body asymmetry, having one extremely large claw (containing up to half of their total mass) and a second, much smaller claw. Females have two small claws resembling the small claw of the male. Male fiddler crabs are famous for having complex signaling displays, waving the large claw in order to attract females and delimit territory. Each species has a unique wave which can be used to distinguish amongst species in the field.
In the past, we have studied the phylogenetic history and systematics of the genus, as well as the evolution of the shape and structure of the males’ large claw. No active fiddler crab research is currently being conducted in the lab, but we keep up with research on the genus and maintain a comprehensive fiddler crab website (www.fiddlercrab.info) which includes information on every species, photographs, video, and a comprehensive reference list to all published fiddler crab research.