Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology/Natural History: Male pycnogonids carry the eggs, on special anterior ovigerous legs which are lateral to the chelicerae and pedipalps (if present) but anterior to the first pair of walking legs. In a study of the life history of a related pycnogonid from the North Atlantic, P. tubulariae, Lovely (2005) found that its development was much faster than has been reported for other pycnogonid groups. P. tubuluriae has a fast developmental mode with an encysted protonymphon larva, with a development time of 21 days as compared to months for other pycnogonids. The larvae hatched and quickly infested the hydroid Tubularia larynx, where they lived within the gastrovascular cavity. Later they emerged, destroying the Tubularia polyp. The abundance of P. tubularia adults peaked in late summer as the hydroid host declined.

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Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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This pycnogonid (sea spider) has legs which are much longer than the proboscis and trunk. It has chelate chelicerae but no pedipalps. The lateral projections from the trunk which serve as the bases of the legs are separated by at least half their diameter. The legs are stout. Females of this family have either no ovigerous legs or extremely reduced ones.
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Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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Distribution

Widespread.
  • Hayward, P.J.; Ryland, J.S. (Ed.) (1990). The marine fauna of the British Isles and North-West Europe: 1. Introduction and protozoans to arthropods. Clarendon Press: Oxford, UK. ISBN 0-19-857356-1. 627 pp.
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Arctic to Long Island Sound
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Geographical Range: Dutch Harbor, Alaska to Laguna Beach, CA. Also common in Europe,Canada, and eastern Russia.

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Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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Physical Description

Type Information

Holotype for Phoxichilidium minor Wilson
Catalog Number: USNM 37714
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Alcohol (Ethanol)
Collector(s): United States Fish Commission
Year Collected: 1873
Locality: Casco Bay, Maine, United States, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Holotype: 1878. Trans. Conn. Acad. Arts Sci. 5: 13-14, fig. 2a-f, pl. 4.; 1878. Trans. Conn. Acad. Arts Sci. 5: 13-14, pl. 4, fig. 2a-f.
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Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Syntype for Phoxichilidium minor Wilson
Catalog Number: USNM 37711
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Alcohol (Ethanol)
Collector(s): United States Fish Commission
Year Collected: 1873
Locality: Casco Bay, Ram Island, Low Water, Maine, United States, North Atlantic Ocean
  • Syntype: 1878. Trans. Conn. Acad. Arts Sci. 5: 13-14, fig. 2a-f, pl. 4.; 1878. Trans. Conn. Acad. Arts Sci. 5: 13-14, pl. 4, fig. 2a-f.
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© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Look Alikes

How to Distinguish from Similar Species: In Anoplodactylus viridintestinalis the lateral projections from the trunk which serve as the bases of the legs are very close together, virtually touching. Its intestine is bright green. Most other long-legged species have pedipalps as well as chelicerae, plus have well-developed ovigerous legs even in females. Phoxicholidium quadradentatum (not mentioned in Kozloff key) has extremely short auxiliary claws that are so small they may not even be seen.
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Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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Ecology

Habitat

coastal
  • UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms
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intertidal, infralittoral and circalittoral of the Gulf and estuary
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Depth range based on 26 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 10 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): -1.5 - 330
  Temperature range (°C): 0.606 - 11.782
  Nitrate (umol/L): 1.541 - 24.192
  Salinity (PPS): 28.916 - 35.245
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.374 - 7.537
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.091 - 2.138
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.122 - 48.152

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): -1.5 - 330

Temperature range (°C): 0.606 - 11.782

Nitrate (umol/L): 1.541 - 24.192

Salinity (PPS): 28.916 - 35.245

Oxygen (ml/l): 5.374 - 7.537

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.091 - 2.138

Silicate (umol/l): 2.122 - 48.152
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth Range: Mostly subtidal.

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Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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