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Sea Spiders: Pycnogonida

No Common Name (colossendeis Megalonyx): Species Account

Physical characteristics: The body of this sea spider, one of the world's largest, is approximately 0.78 inches (20 millimeters) long, including the long, broadly rounded snout. The leg span is up to 27.5 inches (700 millimeters). Each leg is tipped with a long, slender claw.

Geographic range: This sea spider is found from depths of 10 to 16,400 feet (3 to 5,000 meters) around Antarctica and into the southern Atlantic Ocean, southern Indian Ocean, and southern Pacific Ocean, including the Antipodes Islands off New Zealand.

Habitat: Nothing is known about the spider's preferred living areas.

Diet: This sea spider eats soft corals and small hydrozoans attached to sponges. The hydrozoans are a group of water-dwelling organisms without backbones that includes jellyfish.

The body size of this sea spider is among the world's largest, averaging approximately 0.78 inches (20 millimeters) long. (Illustration by Joseph E. Trumpey. Reproduced by permission.)

Behavior and reproduction: Nothing is known about this sea spider's reproductive habits or other behavior.

Colossendeis megalonyx and people: This species does not interact with people.

Conservation status: This species is not endangered or threatened. ∎



Tavolacci, J., ed. Insects and Spiders of the World. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2003.

Web sites:

"Arthropoda: Chelicerata Sea Spiders." Underwater Field Guide to Ross Island and McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. http://scilib.ucsd.edu/sio/nsf/fguide/arthropoda-2.html (accessed August 17, 2004).

"Introduction to Pycnogonida." University of California, Berkeley, Museum of Paleontology. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/arthropoda/pycnogonida.html (accessed on August 17, 2004).

"Pycnogonida (Sea Spiders)." Earth-Life Web. http://www.earthlife.net/chelicerata/pycnogonida.html (accessed on August 17, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceInsects and SpidersSea Spiders: Pycnogonida - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, No Common Name (colossendeis Megalonyx): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, SEA SPIDERS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS