PORT PHILLIP BAY


Pycnogonid 

Callipallene micracantha Stock, 1954

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Family level characters.
TRUNK: Elongate with widely spaced lateral processes or compact with lateral processes touching.
ABDOMEN: Typically short, inflated.
EYES: 4-8.
PROBOSCIS: Variable but usually short.
SCAPES: 1 or 2-segmented.
CHELAE: Full functional and often robust.
PALPS: Typically lacking but maybe present with 1 to 4 segments, often sexually dimorphic.
OVIGERS: Typically 10-segmented, rarely 9 segmented, with apophysis on 5th segment, both strigilis and terminal claw present or absent.
LEGS: Eight legs only, long or short.
TARSUS: shorter than propodus.
AUXILIARY CLAWS: Present or absent.
CEMENT GLAND(S): If present, on ventral femora but seldom evident.
GENITAL PORES: second coxae of all legs of female, either legs 3 & 4 or all legs of male .

Genus level characters.
TRUNK: Smooth, without dorsal processes, segmented. Lateral processes clearly separated.
ABDOMEN: Abdomen small.
EYES: Four eyes.
PROBOSCIS: Short.
SCAPES: 1 segment.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Subphylum:
Cheliceriformes
Class:
Pycnogonida
Order:
Pantopoda
Family:
Callipallenidae
Genus:
Callipallene
Species:
micracantha

Other Names

  • Sea spider

General Description

Body with proboscis projecting outward from front, with the mouth at the tip. Central body (trunk) behind the proboscis, with a raised, rounded area (tubercle) bearing four eyes. Eight segmented walking legs attached to the sides of the trunk. Small abdomen behind trunk. Leg span about 2 cm.

Biology

Young adults (sub-adults) and egg-bearing adults recorded from November-March, but this may reflect seasonal field collecting rather than a breeding cycle. Males carry the eggs, holding them between body parts called ovigers that hang under the animal.

Habitat

Seagrass and seaweed, to depth of 135 m.

Seagrass meadows

Reefs

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia, including central Victoria.

Species Group

Sea spiders

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

2 cm

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Staples, D.

David Staples is a consultant with expertise in pycnogonid taxonomy.

citation

Cite this page as:
Staples, D., 2011, Pycnogonid, Callipallene micracantha, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Jul 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6251

Text: creative commons cc by licence