PORT PHILLIP BAY


Pycnogonid 

Propallene vagus Staples, 1979

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, strigilis, 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: Segmented, lateral processes separated. Abdomen short directed somewhat ventrally.
ABDOMEN: Very short and directed ventrally between the fourth par of legs.
EYES: 4
PROBOSCIS: Cylindrical.
SCAPES: 1 segment.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Subphylum:
Cheliceriformes
Class:
Pycnogonida
Order:
Pantopoda
Family:
Callipallenidae
Genus:
Propallene
Species:
vagus

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. Very short abdomen behind trunk, pointed downward between fourth pair of legs. Leg span about 1 cm.

Biology

These sea spiders have a breeding cycle and huge aggregations of fertile specimens have been recorded during the period November to March. Their identity is defined on the characteristics of the male, the female being difficult to accurately identify to species level. As a result, the distribution of this species is likely to be wider than presently recorded. Males carry the eggs, holding them between body parts called ovigers that hang under the animal.

Habitat

On or near soft bryozoans, to depth of 95 m.

Reefs

Distribution guide

South Australia, including western and central Victoria.

Species Group

Sea spiders

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

1 cm

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 3677

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, Propallene vagus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Nov 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6263

Text: creative commons cc by licence