Cannibalism among mud crabs is a behavioural trait that as yet is poorly understood, but currently presents a major problem for culturing them in open systems at anything other than low density. Investigations into the influence of moulting and injured animals on juvenile mud crab behaviour has failed to find significant links, even though crabs of different size and sex exhibited different responses to stimuli. This work also hypothesized that if cannibalistic behaviour had a genetic basis, then major advancements could be made
through selection for traits more suitable to high-density culture. By holding mud crabs in individual containers, as in fattening operations, survival can be dramatically improved compared with pond-reared crabs where cannibalism is prevalent.
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