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Sea Spider
Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2015 Hohonu Moana. Download (mp4, 7.2 MB)

Sea spider, or pycnogonid, seen while exploring a large rift zone ridge north of St. Rogatien Bank. It belongs to the genus Colossendeis, possibly C. colossea or a closely related species.

The white dots on the sea spider could be snail eggs (some deep-sea snails are known to lay their eggs on colossendeids) or some other invertebrate commensal (lots of different things attach to large pycnogonids and position themselves so that the ovigerous legs can't sweep them off). Ovigerous legs or ovigers are an extra pair of legs, positioned under the body, and used by the males to carry eggs and by both sexes for grooming.

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