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Larval morphologies and potential developmental modes of eight sea spider species (Arthropoda: Pycnogonida) from the southern Oregon coast

  • Z.P. Burris (a1)

Larvae of eight sea spiders from three families (Ammotheidae, Pycnogonidae and Phoxichilidiidae) are described for the first time. The external morphology of the first larval stage of each species is presented in detail using scanning electron microscopy photographs in order to determine the mode of postembryonic development. Three types of larval development are apparent in the species examined. The species Achelia gracilipes, Eurycyde spinosa, Pycnogonum rickettsi and Pycnogonum stearnsi (families Ammotheidae and Pycnogonidae) have larval morphologies indicative of an ‘ectoparasitic’ development. Morphological characteristics of Achelia simplissima and Achelia chelata (family Ammotheidae) larvae suggest an ‘endoparasitic’ development, while larvae of the species Anoplodactylus viridintestinalis (family Phoxichilidiidae) have traits implying an ‘encysting’ postembryonic mode of development. Larvae of the species Nymphopsis spinosissima have unusual morphological characteristics that may be indicative of a new developmental mode.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: Z.P. Burris, Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, University of Oregon, PO Box 5389, Charleston, OR, 97420 email:
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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
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