PORT PHILLIP BAY


Pycnogonid 

Pycnothea flynni Williams G, 1940

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, glabrous. Lateral processes touching. Ocular tubercle on posterior half, two mediodorsal swellings.
ABDOMEN: Unsegmented at base.
EYES: 4
PROBOSCIS: Short, barrel-like.
SCAPES: 1 segment.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Subphylum:
Cheliceriformes
Class:
Pycnogonida
Order:
Pantopoda
Family:
Callipallenidae
Genus:
Pycnothea
Species:
flynni

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, unsegmented. Leg span about 5 mm.

Biology

This small sea spider breeds from January to April. There is a report of a larger female embracing a smaller egg-bearing male with their ventral surfaces facing one another, suggesting that they mate in this position. Its food preferences are unknown, however its robust appearance suggests that they are unlikely to be good climbers and could eat hydroids and seaweeds like other species do. Males carry the eggs, holding them between body parts called ovigers that hang under the animal.

Habitat

Little information known on habitat, intertidal and subtidal, to depth of 50 m.

Reefs

Distribution guide

Indo-Pacific waters including southern Australia.

Species Group

Sea spiders

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

5 mm

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in 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, Pycnothea flynni, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 19 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6270

Text: creative commons cc by licence