Team Pycno in the News!

Sea spiders breathe through their legs!  Check out these news stories about Steve's most recent paper in the Journal of Experimental Biology, Lane et al. 2018.  Editor's Choice article!

      No Lungs or Gills, but Sea Spiders Breathe Easy - New York Times (article), Science Take (video)

       Featured in Journal of Experimental Biology -- Inside JEB

       Steve's research is featured in The Missoulian!

You know how spiders catch butterflies, but do you know how sea spiders catch sea butterflies?  Find out in our new article in Invertebrate Biology!

      Giant Sea Spiders Sit and Wait for Prey to Knock Themselves Out - New Scientist

Sea spiders use their legs as gills and their guts as hearts!  Read about our work in the July 10, 2017 issue of Current Biology, and check out videos of this amazing and bizarre phenomenon on our video blog!

      Some of the news articles published on July 10 about this study:

      Sea Spiders Pump Blood With Their Guts, Not Their Hearts -- The Atlantic

      Giant Antarctic Sea Spiders Breathe Really Strangely -- Science News for Students

      Sea spiders move oxygen with pumping guts (not hearts) -- Science Daily

      Underwater 'Spider' Breathes Through Its Legs -- National Geographic

      Sea spiders use their guts to pump oxygen through their freaky little bodies -- Popular Science

Tim Dwyer, part of the PolarTREC program, kept a blog about his time in Antarctica and experiences working with our research group. Check out his blog HERE!

Read about an interview with Amy on Giant Sea Spiders, Frigid Divers, and the Oxygen Hypothesis in an article published in Eco Magazine.  

Researchers have more questions than answers about giant sea spiders.  Bret talks to CBC about why Antarctic spiders get so large. 

We even made it to IFLS!! 

Check out an article published in Hakai magazine about our research in Antarctica!  What's Supersizing Antarctica's Sea Spiders?

Secrets of Gigantic Sea Spiders. Our article featured in the Antarctic Sun, the digital paper for research and life in Antarctica.

Our research was featured in the July 2015 issue of the UW Friday Harbor Labs "Tide Bites."

What is Polar Gigantism? Amy and Art answered this question in a 2014 article on

About sea spiders

This excellent website includes general information about sea spider anatomy, behavior, development, and morphology. Website developed by Bonnie Bain and Henner Fahrenbach.

Taxonomy databases

PycnoBase includes the World List of pycnogonids. This database was developed by Aliya El Nagar, Claudia Arango, and the late Roger Bamber and lists the classification of almost all known sea spider species.

The World Register of Marine Species page about the Pycnogonida primarily references PycnoBase but also includes further details on the classification of sea spider species. 

There are approximately 268 known Antarctic or Sub-Antarctic species of pycnogonids. The classification of these species can be found on the Register of Antarctic Marine Species Pycnogonida page which is maintained by Claudia Arango. This database is still being populated and currently lists only 183 species.

People researching sea spiders

Claudia Arango at the Queensland museum is one of the leading experts on pycnogonid taxonomy and phylogenetics.

David Staples at the Museum Victoria is another expert on pycnogonid taxonomy.

Among research on other invertebrates, Roland Melzer, at the Zoologische Staatssammlung München, has published a number of papers on pycnogonid morphology. Specifically focusing on pycnogonid eyes. 

Katsumi Miyazaki at Kyoto University studies development and reproduction in pycnogonids and other invertebrates. 

Popular News

Sea spiders are not the same as as land spiders; read about it in this 2009 Science News article. Sea spiders (order Pycnogonida) are thought to be a very ancient group of arthropods and are not close relatives of the terrestrial spiders, which are in a separate order (the Araneae).

Researchers at the Monterey Bay Research Institute have documented deep-sea sea spiders feeding on anemones, you can see some of their stunning photographs here! 

See here for more incredible pictures of sea spiders from around the world!

Sea spiders have also featured as's "Absurd Creature of the Week!"