Jan 4, 2009

Cnidarians Beware

A little while ago I posted on a sea spider, which National Geographic had described as an actual arachnid. They were wrong, as many of you pointed out. But in the end, I'm responsible for passing along misinformation. Consider yourself now re-informed (overwrite old data with new). They are pycnogonids (thanks, Epicanus).

I was also remiss in not mentioning, as Christopher Taylor pointed out, that they are equipped with a tubular proboscis that allows them to siphon out the insides of their cnidarian prey.

And Morgan wanted to show off this pycnogonid's egg sac. Looks like she carries it in a similar fashion to the wolf spider. Cnidarians beware! The pycnogonids, which are little more than spider-shaped jelly-sucking vampires, are reproducing, and your jelly-filled selves are in danger.

Thanks for the photo, Morgan.

Photo source: AWI.de


Alison said...

Well, at least this thing is missing that spidery middle part (abdomen? thorax?). You know, the bulbous one where Shelob keeps her giant stinger. And I can't see the fangs...though the enormous number of eggs in that sac is rather frightening.

Anonymous said...

Spiders have a cephalothorax (or prosoma) which means their head and thorax are combined into one unit (units are technically called a tagmatas). The big bulb at the rear is their abdomen, technically called an opisthosoma. The cephalothorax and abdomen are joined by a tube called a pedicel.

Danielle said...


Even if it's not a spider, it has more than four legs, therefor, it's creepy.

(Exclusions to this rule include butterflies and sometimes lady bugs)

Sabina E. said...


get that thing away from me... oh god.

Anonymous said...

This is actually a male; the legs are suspended on modified first legs called ovigers.