The Sea-spiders Synopsis covers all 84 species of sea-spider (Class Pycnogonida) in the north-east Atlantic. The Synopsis features keys to families, genera and species, as well as notes on species and their distribution. The volume is a comprehensive revision of King (1974), incorporating new information, and expanded to include 84 species from 12 families.
Sea-spiders, or pycnogonids, are a class of the phylum Arthropoda. They have few clear affinities to any other arthropod group. These animals are exclusively marine, occurring from the littoral zone to the abyss and world-wide. Littoral species tend to be small, while some of the deep-sea species can attain leg spans of over half a metre. Pycnogonids are predominantly benthic, although some bathypelagic species associate with deep mid-water medusae. Almost all species from the north-east Atlantic are free-living as adults, but some endoparasitic species occur elsewhere in the world.
Synopses of the British Fauna is a series of identification guides. Each volume in the series is a detailed account of a group of animals. They bridge the gap between standard field guides and more specialised monograph or treatise. Since 1993 the the Field Studies Council has published these guides on behalf of the Linnean Society.
These volumes are suitable for the lab or field. The editors aim to keep them as user friendly as possible, with technical terminology at a minimum and a glossary of terms. However the complexity of the subject matter makes the books more suitable for the more experienced practitioner.