Visual image of neighbors to elicit wandering behavior in the soldier crab

Toru Moriyama, Jun ichi Mashiko, Toshinori Matsui, Koichiro Enomoto, Tetsuya Matsui, Kojiro Iizuka, Masashi Toda, Yukio Gunji

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The soldier crab appears in great numbers and feeds while wandering during daytime low tide. When they see an approaching object, they screw themselves into the sand. The mechanism of formation of mass wandering has not been clarified. In this study, to investigate if the soldier crabs use visual images of neighbors as a stimulus for wandering, dummy crabs were presented to crabs. In the experiments, one, two, four, or eight dummies were placed in a circle on a sand arena. Each crab was placed in the center of the arena and observed whether it burrowed into the sand or wandered. The proportions of wandering individuals in each experimental treatment were compared with the expected value. Significantly more crabs were wanderers when only two and four dummies were present. This result suggests that soldier crabs chose burrowing or wandering depending on visual image of the distribution of the neighbors.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-6
    Number of pages6
    JournalArtificial Life and Robotics
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2016 Jul 22



    • Dummy crab
    • Mass wandering
    • Neighboring individual
    • Soldier crab
    • Visual attention
    • Visual image

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

    Cite this

    Moriyama, T., Mashiko, J. I., Matsui, T., Enomoto, K., Matsui, T., Iizuka, K., Toda, M., & Gunji, Y. (Accepted/In press). Visual image of neighbors to elicit wandering behavior in the soldier crab. Artificial Life and Robotics, 1-6.