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Wagner, Philipp; Dömel, Jana S.; Hofmann, Michaela; Hübner, Jeremy; Leese, Florian; Melzer, Roland R. (2017): Comparative study of bisected proboscides of Pycnogonida. In: Organisms Diversity & Evolution, Vol. 17, No. 1: pp. 121-135
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To comparatively describe "inner" pharynx armatures in pycnogonids, we bisected proboscides of Achelia langi (Dohrn, 1881), Anoplodactylus californicus Hall, 1912, Ascorhynchus castellioides Stock, 1957, Austrodecus glaciale Hodgson, 1907, Callipallene margarita (Gordon, 1932), Colossendeis macerrima Wilson, 1881, Endeis spinosa (Montagu, 1808), Nymphon macronyx Sars, 1877, Pallenopsis patagonica (Hoek, 1881), Pantopipetta sp., Pigrogromitus timsanus Calman, 1927, and Pycnogonum litorale (Strom, 1762) and analyzed them with the scanning electron microscope (SEM). Moreover, proboscides were stained with actin green to visualize the muscle arrangement with fluorescence and confocal microscopes (A. langi) and were analyzed with microcomputed X-ray tomography (mu CT;Ascorhynchus japonicus). As a result of our observations, sets of characters that vary between taxa are established. These traits include length and width of proboscis, shape and structure of the inner mouth opening, borders and armature of the antimeres, shape and position of denticle arrays and rows, relative length of pharyngeal filter apparatus, and arrangement and structure of the filter bristles. Analyses of these characters indicate a substantial variability on the pantopod's proboscis inner surface probably as an adaptation to different food sources. Finally, we suggest that the presence of the oyster basket represents a ground pattern character of Pycnogonida.