Platybunus: the Wide-Eyed Harvestmen of Europe

The western Palaearctic region (that is, Europe and the immediately adjacent parts of Asia and northern Africa) is home to a diverse and distinctive fauna of harvestmen. Among the various genera unique to this part of the world are the forest- and mountain-dwellers of the genus Platybunus. Platybunus pinetorum, copyright Donald Hobern. Platybunus species are… Continue reading Platybunus: the Wide-Eyed Harvestmen of Europe

Pied Harvestmen of the Antilles

Harvestmen of the Neotropical family Cosmetidae have been featured on this site a couple of times before. Each time, I’ve commented on the dire taxonomic state of this diverse family, with many genera being poorly or inaccurately defined. Thanks to extensive (and continuing) studies in recent years by Braxilian researchers and their associates, this situation… Continue reading Pied Harvestmen of the Antilles

Pseudogagrella: A Harvestman Torn

The Sclerosomatidae are one of the most diverse of the currently recognised harvestmen families, and one of the most problematic when it comes to classification. In various earlier posts, I have noted the challenges that bedevil sclerosomatid systematics, many reflecting a historical focus on superficial external features of questionable evolutionary significance. Perhaps no taxon more… Continue reading Pseudogagrella: A Harvestman Torn


Sclerobunus nondimorphicus, copyright Marshal Hedin. Belongs within: Laniatores. Contains: Cladonychiidae, Metanonychus. The Travunioidea are a group of Holarctic laniatorean harvestmen characterised by male genitalia in which the expansive muscles tend to be restricted to the base of the truncus, often associated with a simplification of the glans (Derkarabetian et al. 2018). Travunioidea [Travunoidea]     |–Travuniidae [Travuniinae]… Continue reading Travunioidea


Microcina edgewoodensis, copyright Friends of Edgewood. Belongs within: Laniatores. Contains: Sandokanidae, Epedanoidea, Assamioidea, Zalmoxoidea, Samooidea, Gonyleptoidea, Calicina, Sitalcina, Banksula, Texella. The Grassatores are a clade of laniatorean harvestmen in which the penis lacks intrinsic muscles, with the glans expanding through hydraulic pressure alone. Grassatores [Camptonoti] SG14     |–+–Sandokanidae SG11     |  `–+–Epedanoidea SG14     |     `–+–+–Assamioidea SG14     |        |  `–+–Zalmoxoidea SG11… Continue reading Grassatores


Zachaeus crista, copyright Ondřej Machač. Belongs within: Phalangiidae. Zacheus is a genus of large-bodied phalangiid harvestmen found in the eastern Mediterranean and western Asia (Kurt et al. 2015). Historically, there has been confusion regarding the correct spelling of the genus name; Crawford (1992) provides reasoning for use of the spelling ‘Zachaeus‘. Characters (from Kurt et… Continue reading Zachaeus

Publication date of Bulletin de la Société Philomathique

I should say up front, this is going to be a pretty esoteric one. It’s just that this is something I spent a fair chunk of a morning trying to work out, and I may as well put what I found up here in case someone else finds it useful. A few weeks back I… Continue reading Publication date of Bulletin de la Société Philomathique


Dorsum of Trionyxella granulata, from Roewer (1935). Belongs within: Assamiidae. The Trionyxellinae are a group of harvestmen found in southern Africa and Asia, characterised by the presence of a pseudonychium between the true claws. Characters (from Roewer 1935): Anterior margin of the carapace unarmed medially; spiracles concealed by chitinous projections; femur of pedipalp with short… Continue reading Trionyxellinae


Dorsum and male genitalia of Dampetrus granulatus, from Forster (1955). Belongs within: Assamiidae. The Dampetrinae are a group of assamiid harvestmen found in south-east Asia and Australia (Roewer 1935). Characters (from Roewer 1935): Frontal margin of carapace unarmed, without median denticle. Palpal femur with ventral spines shorter than diameter of femur. Stigmata hidden by row… Continue reading Dampetrinae


Dorsal view of Paraselenca marginata, from Roewer (1935). Belongs within: Assamiidae. The Selencinae are a group of assamiid harvestmen found in Africa with distitarsus I two-segmented, metatarsus II undivided and pectinate claws on tarsi III and IV (Santos & Prieto 2010). <==Selencinae [Eupodaucheniinae] SP10 |–Selenca Sørensen 1896 SP10 |    `–*S. maculata Sørensen 1896 S92 |–Selencula Roewer… Continue reading Selencinae