First record of deep-sea giant pycnogonid from Andaman waters

Ascorhynchus levissimus

Phylum: Arthropoda von Siebold, 1848

Class: Pycnogonida Latreille, 1810

Order: Pantopoda Gerstaecker, 1863

Family: Ascorhynchidae Hoek, 1881

Ascorhynchus levissimus Loman, 1908

Collection: Andaman Sea – around Nicobar Islands, 8°21.621’N, 93°20.065’E, 621-650m, 14.11.2011 (FORVSS 292, St. 91), 8°23.35’ N, 93°20.534’E, 601-643m, 29.01.2015 (FORVSS 334, St. 07A). Demersal trawl.

Voucher No.: CMLRE/IO/SS/PYC/0001 (FORV Referral Centre, CMLRE, Kochi)

Description: Long, slender trunk devoid of a median row of tubercles; posterior part of the first three segments highly flaring, with second segment the broadest. Smooth lateral processes longer than first coxa of all four legs. Long and slender neck with ten jointed oviger implantation at three- fourths the length of the neck. Four eye spots. Femur and tibia equipped with a row of tiny setae on the ventral side. Auxillary claws absent. Strigilis armed with one main row of large denticulate spines and 2-3 auxillary rows of shorter spines. 10 jointed palps. Chelifore with two jointed scapes. Chela highly reduced with two fully formed tiny fingers or chelae.

Biological association: None.

Remarks: One male and one female specimens collected from cruise 292 larger than the female collected from cruise 334.

Distribution: Bathyal depths of the Flores Sea, Western South Pacific Ocean and Andaman Sea, North- Eastern Indian Ocean.

Distribution map:

Map showing locations of previous records (circle) and present record from Indian waters (square) of Ascorhynchus levissimus

Identified by: Chippy Khader

Publication: Chippy K., Saravanane N., Reethas T., Priyaja P., Deepika U., Kumar B. K. & Sudhakar M. (2017). First record of the deep-sea giant pycnogonid, Ascorhynchus levissimus Loman, 1908 from the Indian Ocean. Marine Biodiversity, 47(2), 589-597.

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