Zoological Studies

Vol. 54, 2015

Population genetics of the fiddler crab Uca sindensis (Alcock, 1900) (Crustacea: Brachyura: Ocypodidae) from the Arabian Sea

Hsi-Te Shih1, Noor Us Saher2, Ehsan Kamrani3, Peter KL Ng4, Yu-Ching Lai1 and Min-Yun Liu5,*

1Department of Life Science, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 40227, Taiwan
2University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan
3Marine Biology Department, Hormozgan University, Bandar Abbas 79145, Iran
4Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119260, Republic of Singapore
5Taiwan Ocean Research Institute, National Applied Research Laboratories, Qieding, Kaohsiung City 85243, Taiwan

Background: The fiddler crab Uca sindensis (Alcock, 1900) (Crustacea: Brachyura: Ocypodidae) is distributed in the northern coasts of the Arabian Sea (Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait). Its typical habitat is on high intertidal areas with higher salinity, which might restrict its distribution, especially within the Persian Gulf. The purpose of the present phylogeographic study is to understand whether the Strait of Hormuz acts as a barrier to the gene flow of this species.
Results: The genetic analyses of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA, cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI), and control region (CR) of specimens from various localities showed that there was no genetic differentiation between the populations inside and outside of the Persian Gulf.
Conclusions: We conclude that the narrow Strait of Hormuz does not form a barrier for the larval dispersal in this species. Its restricted distribution in the northern Arabian Sea may instead be associated with its preference for  higher salinity sediments present in the coasts of this region.

Key words: Uca sindensis; Phylogeography; Arabian Sea; Persian Gulf; 16S rRNA; COI; Control region

*Correspondence: E-mail: mylalex@tori.narl.org.tw