posted by AA
Yuichi Mochizuki & Katsumi Miyazaki (2017)
Postembryonic development of the sea spider Ammothella biunguiculata (Pycnogonida, Ammotheidae) endoparasitic to an actinian Entacmaea quadricolor (Anthozoa, Stichodactylidae) in Izu Peninsula, Japan.
Invertebrate Reproduction & Development
Postembryonic developmental stages of an endoparasitic pycnogonid, Ammothella biunguiculata in Izu Peninsula, Japan are described. Eleven stages were identified beginning with a protonymphon larva attached to the male oviger. We found endoparasitic individuals in the host actinian from the second to tenth instar, and forms in the ninth stage to adult were found free-living. This indicates
a transition from being endoparasitic to free-living during the ninth to tenth instar stages. The first instar protonymphon attached to the adult male oviger has a gland duct on the anterior margin of each chelifore scape which completely disappears with the second instar. The disappearance of the chelifore gland duct coincides with the beginning of an endoparasitic stage in the development of
this species. Although the larval morphology and the postembryonic development of pycnogonids have been summarized by several authors, the present study concludes that much remains to be learnt.