Vol. 62, 2023
Genetic Structure of the
Endemic Fiddler Crab Uca (Xeruca) formosensis on the West Coast of
Kun-Chin Hung1, Ching-Yu Liou2, Chih-Chung Wen3, and Hui-Chen Lin1,*
of Life Science, Tunghai University, Taichung 407, Taiwan.
*Correspondence: E-mail: email@example.com (Lin).
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Hung)
2Endemic Species Research Institute, Council of
Agriculture of the Executive Yuan, Jiji, Nantou 552005, Taiwan. E-mail:
3Department of Safety, Health and Environmental
Engineering, Hungkuang University, Taichung 433, Taiwan. E-mail:
(Received 20 January 2022 / Accepted
17 February 2023 / Published 1 June 2023)
Communicated by His-Te Shih
Xeruca formosensis is the only
endemic species of fiddler crab on the west coast of Taiwan. However,
its natural habitats and populations have been compromised by excessive
anthropogenic activities and improper land use over the past four
decades. In light of these changes, we sought to evaluate the genetic
diversity and gene flow of the species by examining the genetic
variation of X. formosensis
at different sampling locations. To this end, we performed molecular
analyses of three endonuclease-amplified fragment length polymorphisms
(TE-AFLP) and the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) marker from leg muscle
samples. We found that the genetic variation within sampling locations
was higher than that among sampling locations, and the expected
heterozygosity of genetic diversity (Hj) was 0.152 for
TE-AFLP data. Meanwhile, the COI
marker showed high haplotype diversity (h = 0.976 ± 0.008) and a low
genetic differentiation level (FST
= 0.021) in X. formosensis
populations. Importantly, the genetic connectivity of X. formosensis may be influenced
by larval-stage crabs drifting between coastal and marine habitats. As
such, crab gene flow is promoted among populations by larval exchange
via nearshore currents. Although X.
formosensis has high gene flow, the species could undergo an
extinction crisis if the population sizes continue to decline, as with
most endangered species. In order to maintain the natural habitats and
population size of X. formosensis,
long-term monitoring and investigation will be necessary.
Key words: Xeruca formosensis, Genetic
variation, Larvae drifting, Genetic diversity.
Citation: Hung KC, Liou CY, Wen CC, Lin
HC. 2023. Genetic structure of the endemic fiddler crab Uca (Xeruca) formosensis on the west coast of
Taiwan. Zool Stud 62:24.doi:10.6620/ZS.2023.62-24.