MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

A sea spider (Endeis spinosa)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

Endeis spinosa has a small body up to 3 mm in length and legs 15 mm long. The proboscis is swollen at the tip, oval in cross-section, and is usually held at a 45 degree angle below the long axis of the body. The body is covered with a number of irregularly arranged spines, which are larger in males than females. The mouth section is circled by concentric rows of irregularly arranged spines. Endeis spinosa have neither chelifores nor palps, and the auxilary claws are notably shorter than the main claws. The eyes are a pale brown, slightly paler than in other pycnogonids. Only the males in this species have 7 segmented ovigerous legs.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Endeis spinosa are relatively uncommon, but can be found all around the coast of the British Isles. Confusion with the species Endeis laevis may to some degree account for the lack of records of this species.

Global distribution

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Habitat

Endeis spinosa inhabitat the littoral zone and the shallow sublittoral up to depths of 12 m.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Proboscis is swollen at the tip and oval in cross-section.
  • Numerous spines surround the mouth.
  • Auxilary claw less than half the length of the main claw.
  • Chelifores and palps are absent.

Additional information

Although the food preferences have not been fully determined, it is thought that they feed on the detritus that gathers on the branches of various hydroids (King, 1974).

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  2. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. 1994. The marine fauna of the British Isles and north-west Europe. Volume 1. Introduction and Protozoans to Arthropods. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

  3. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  4. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line] http://www.jncc.gov.uk/mermaid

  5. King, P.E., 1974. British Sea Spiders. Arthropoda: Pycnogonida. London: Academic Press. [Synopses of the British Fauna (New Series) No. 5.]

  6. MarLIN (Marine Life Information Network), 2005. SEArchable BEnthic Data (SEABED) Map [on-line]. Data Access Sub-programme, Marine Life Information Network for Britian and Ireland http://www.marlin.ac.uk,

  7. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org.  Accessed 01 April 2017

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Heard, J.R. 2005. Endeis spinosa A sea spider. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/2109

Last Updated: 14/02/2005