Novel mode of postembryonic development in Ammothea genus (Pycnogonida: Ammotheidae) from Antarctic waters


  • Esperanza Cano Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Sevilla
  • Pablo J. López-González Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Sevilla



Pycnogonida, Ammotheidae, Ammothea, postembryonic development, protonymphon


In this paper the postembryonic development of Ammothea glacialis (family Ammotheidae) is described. The studied material was collected during the Italica XIX cruise to Victoria Land, Ross Sea, Antarctica. The external morphology of three larval instars is described and illustrated. The development of A. glacialis has the following characteristics: (1) protonymphon hatch from the eggs; (2) the larvae have yolk reserves and relatively large size (0.7 mm in length); (3) the larvae remain on the ovigerous legs of males during several moults; (4) the larvae have reduced larval II-III appendages and the spinning apparatus is absent; (5) the development of walking legs is sequential. This development is compared with those previously known, especially with Propallene longiceps and Nymphon grossipes.


Download data is not yet available.


Arnaud, F. and R. Bamber. – 1987. The Biology of Pycnogonida. Adv. Mar. Biol., 24: 1-96. doi:10.1016/S0065-2881(08)60073-5 Can't connect to PubMed

Bain, B.A. – 2003a. Larval Types and a Summary of Postembryonic Development within the Pycnogonids. Invert. Reprod. Dev., 43: 193-222.

Bain, B.A. – 2003b. Postembryonic Development in the Pycnogonid Austropallene cornigera (Family Callipallenidae). Invert Reprod. Dev., 43: 181-192.

Bain, A.B. and F.G. Govedich. – 2004 Courtship and mating behaviour in the Pycnogonida (Chelicerata: Class Pycnogonida): a summary. Invert. Reprod. Dev., 43: 63-79.

Bamber, R.N. – 2007. A holistic re-interpretation of the phylogeny of the Pycnogonida Latreille, 1810 (Arthropoda). Zootaxa, 1668: 295-312.

Bogomolova, E.V. – 2007. Larvae of three sea spider species of the genus Nymphon (Arthropoda: Pycnogonida) from the White Sea. Russ. J. Mar. Biol., 33: 145-160. doi:10.1134/S1063074007030029 Can't connect to PubMed

Bogomolova, E.V. and V.V. Malakhov. – 2003. Larvae of sea spiders (Arthropoda, Pycnogonida) of the White Sea. Zool. Zhurn., 82: 1-17.

Bogomolova, E.V. and V.V. Malakhov. – 2004. Fine morphology of sea spider larvae (Arthropoda, Pycnogonida) of the White Sea. Zool. Bespozvonochnykh, 1: 3-28.

Bogomolova, E.V. and V.V. Malakhov. – 2006. Lecithotrophic protonymphon is a special type of postembryonic development of sea spiders (Arthropoda, Pycnogonida). Dokl. Biol. Sci., 409: 328-331. doi:10.1134/S0012496606040181

Bouvier, E.L. – 1923. Fauna de France 7. Pycnogonides. Fédération Française des Sociétés de Sciences Naturelles Office Central de Faunistique. Paris.

Cano, E. and P.J. López-González. – 2007a. Colossendeis species (Pycnogonida: Colossendeidae) collected during the Italica XIX cruise to Victoria Land (Antarctica), with remarks on some taxonomic characters of the ovigers. Sci. Mar., 71(4): 661-681.doi:10.3989/scimar.2007.71n4661

Cano, E. and P.J. López-González. – 2007b. Ammotheidae (Arthropoda: Pycnogonida) collected during the Victoria Land Transect cruise 2004 (Ross Sea, Antarctica), with a description of a new species of Ammothea. Mar. Biol. Res., 3: 438-445. doi:10.1080/17451000701696294

Gillespie, J.M. and B.A. Bain. – 2006. Postembryonic development of Tanystylum bealensis (Pycnogonida, Ammotheidae) from Barkley Sound, British Columbia, Canada. J. Morphol., 267: 308-317. doi:10.1002/jmor.10402

Hedgpeth, J.W. – 1947. On the evolutionary significance of the Pycnogonida. Smithson. Misc. Collect., 106:1-54.

Hoek, P.P.C. – 1881. Report on the Pycnogonida dredged by HMS Challenger 1873-1876. Rep. Sci. Res. Exploring Voyage of HMS Challenger, 3(10): 1-167.

Lovely, E.C. – 2005. The life history of Phoxichilidium tubulariae (Pycnogonida; Phoxichilidiidae). Northeast Nat., 12: 77-92. doi:10.1656/1092-6194(2005)012[0077:TLHOPT]2.0.CO;2

Mahon, A.R., Arango, C.P. and Halanych, K.M. – 2008. Genetic diversity of Nymphon (Arthropoda: Pycnogonida: Nymphonidae) along the Antarctic Peninsula with a focus on Nymphon australe Hodgson 1902. Mar. Biol., 155: 315-323 doi:10.1007/s00227-008-1029-5

Meglitsch, P.A. – 1967. Invertebrate Zoology. Oxford University Press, New York.

Meinert, F. – 1899. Pycnogonida. The Danish Ingolf-Expedition, 3: 1-71.

Nakamura, K. – 1981. Post-embryonic development of a pycnogonid, Propallene longiceps. J. Nat. Hist., 15: 49-62. doi:10.1080/00222938100770041

Ohshima, H. – 1933. Young pycnogonids found parasitic on nudibranchs. Annot. Zool. Japon., 14: 61-66.

Okuda, S. – 1940. Metamorphosis of a pycnogonid parasitic in a hydromedusa. J. Fac. Sci. Hokkaido Imperial Univ. Zool., 7: 73-86.

Staples, D.A. and J.E. Watson. – 1987. Associations between pycnogonids and hydroids. In: J. Bouillion (ed.), Modern Trends in the Systematics, Ecology, and Evolution of Hydroids and Hydromedusa, pp. 215-226. Oxford University Press.

Vilpoux, K. and D. Waloszek. – 2003. Larval development and morphogenesis of the sea spider Pycnogonum litorale (Ström, 1762) and the tagmosis of the body of Pantopoda. Arthropod Struct. Dev., 32: 349-383. doi:10.1016/j.asd.2003.09.004

Wilhelm, E., D. Bückmann and K.H. Tomaschko. – 1997. Life cycle and population dynamics of Pycnogonum litorale (Pycnogonida) in a natural habitat. Mar. Biol., 129: 601-606. doi:10.1007/s002270050202




How to Cite

Cano E, López-González PJ. Novel mode of postembryonic development in Ammothea genus (Pycnogonida: Ammotheidae) from Antarctic waters. scimar [Internet]. 2009Sep.30 [cited 2021Mar.7];73(3):541-50. Available from:




Similar Articles

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>