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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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© Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory

Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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