Sea Spiders South Africa: Underwater Predators

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Sea Spiders South Africa

Generally, people have an interest in the creatures that fall into the traditional perception of beauty like butterflies and jellyfish but some of us find keen interest in creatures that are rather less talked about like spiders. Most people will shoo them away or smash with a book, while we explore to learn more.

So here we are going to learn some amazing facts about sea spiders of South Africa. Oh god they are unique creatures with an ability to blend into their surroundings using camouflage. But that’s not it, so let’s learn about them now like researchers.

Sea Spiders of South Africa

The scientific name for these sea spiders is Pycnogonida or Pycnogonids. They get this name from the Pycnogonum, their type genus . On a surprise note, these marine arthropods have so much in common with house spiders making them more familiar to us. Sea Spiders have a Cosmopolitan distribution and thus they are found around the world named any ocean. There are around 1300 species of sea spiders out of which 100 find their home in South Africa.

What do the sea spiders look like ?

Pycnogonids have thin long legs in contrast to their smaller bodies. Generally, they have four pair of legs, with some exceptions having 5 or six pairs as well. They vary in size ranging from 1mm to 70 cm in length of their legs. They don’t have a respiratory system but rather they are exoskeleton, and breathe through their skin making them unique in yet another way. You know some species are so small that their muscles are made of just one single cell. Legs of sea spiders are most prominent ; they carry their guts and genitals as well. They digest their food by sucking them using a proboscis

What do sea spiders eat?🦠

They are a good survivor because of their diet. Playing the role of both scavengers and predators in the water feeding on aquatic worms and corals, like sponges, polychaetes, and bryozoans. They can also behave like parasites making sea anemones their host. Sea spiders and quite adaptable predators take full advantage of their long legs.

Habitat of sea spiders?🕷️

You will find these sea spiders in every sea and ocean existing on our earth. Their habitat is all pervasive. They can be found in the harshest climates of the earth which are north pole and south pole. They are found on rocks and corals, using them as camouflage. They are not only to be found in shallow waters but at the depth of 7000 meters under water as well.

Reproduction in Sea Spiders ❤️

Sea spiders generally reproduce in the vanilla way except for one hermaphroditic species. The male has testes for the reproduction and females have ovaries but unlike most other creatures in sea spiders the males take care of the eggs and young ones.

Sea spiders are almost harmless creatures to humans and they form a good balance in the aquatic food chain. They are as of now neither a threat nor in threat themselves thanks to their super adaptability.

Hope you enjoyed the learning, thanks for being our faithful readers😚

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