Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

This harvestman is nocturnal and fairly active, walking raised up on its long legs (1) (3) (6). Indeed, the order name 'Opiliones' comes from the Latin word 'opilio' meaning 'shepherd', because walking harvestmen resembled the European shepherds who used to walk on stilts for an improved view of their flock. It is omnivorous, feeding commonly on small insects, plant material and fungi (1). The first pair of appendages (chelicera) near the mouth collects the food items and passes them to the second pair of appendages (pedipalps) where they are held and crushed by microscopic claws at the end of the pedipalps (4) (7). The food is chewed and ingested, rather than having the juices sucked out (2). The harvestman cannot live for long without water (4). Harvestmen are most commonly seen in autumn, particularly during harvesting time (6) (7). They are often found on shady walls on the outside of buildings, where they cluster together in groups of up to 400 (8). They rest flat on the walls with their legs entwined, which serves several possible functions. By gathering together, the harvestmen may be creating an area of desirable temperature and humidity, or making use of the collective repellent power of their smelly defence (2). It has also been suggested that these aggregations pulsate in order to appear more intimidating to their predators (2). Harvestmen mate by internal fertilisation, and females use their ovipositor to lay the already fertilised eggs into crevices in the soil (5). The eggs survive through the winter and hatch in spring (7).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

This small arachnid has no separation between the head and the abdomen (4), giving the small, smooth body the appearance of an oval pin-head. The eight black legs are extremely long in relation to the body and can be self-amputated if the harvestman is in danger of predation (4). They will not regenerate (5). It has no fangs, no poison glands and no silk glands, but is not entirely defenceless as it possesses scent glands at the front of the body, to the sides of the two eyes (1) (2). These produce an unpleasant smelling secretion which is also distasteful to predators (2). The male is smaller but brighter in colour than the female, having a red-brown body, whereas the female has a brown body with a darker band along the top, and a black ring around each eye (10). The young look like small adults.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

Range

This harvestman is common and widespread all over Britain including the Channel Islands. It is also found in the Canary Islands and in Africa (10).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Preferring damp habitats (9), the harvestman is often found resting on tree trunks (12) and among grass and leaf litter (11).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

Status

Common and widespread (10).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

This species is not threatened.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Conservation

Conservation action has not been targeted at this widespread species.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Leiobunum rotundum

Leiobunum rotundum female at ground level vegetation of a hedge

Leiobunum rotundum is a species of harvestman. It is found in the western Old World.

Description[edit]

L. rotundum is chestnut-brown, with a very long round or oval body and thin black legs.[1] There is no separation between the head and the abdomen. The body is smooth and small. The harvestman's legs can be self-amputated if it is in danger of predation, but they do not regenerate. Although the harvestman has no fangs, poison glands, or silk glands, it can protect itself with the scent glands on the front of its body. The scent glands produce a secretion that repels predators.[2] The species has three different types of nephrocytes. Numerous large nephrocytes occur in clusters between the muscles in the anterior region of the body. Smaller nephrocytes are scattered throughout the body, often stuck to tracheoles. The third type of nephrocyte is attached to the heart wall by connective ligaments.[3] The morphology of the tracheae in this species is very similar to that of Nemastoma lugubre.[4]

Habitat[edit]

This harvestman is widespread throughout Britain including the Channel Islands. It can also be found on the Canary Islands and in Africa.[2] The species can be found among vegetation such as long grass, herbaceous plants, shrubs, and trees.

Diet[edit]

The harvestman eats a wide range of small invertebrates, alive or dead. Small invertebrates that it eats include caterpillars, mites, woodlice, and slugs. It drinks a lot of water, especially dew. It will sometimes suck the juice out of overripe or bruised fruit such as windfall apple. The harvestman will sometimes go to outside lights to eat insects that are attracted to the light.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Leiobunum rotundum - a harvestman - Family: Leiobunidae". Natural England. Retrieved June 6, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Harvestman (Leiobunum rotundum)". ARKive. Retrieved June 6, 2010. 
  3. ^ K. Zanger, D. R. Dannhorn, K. A. Seitz & W. Peters (1991). "Nephrocytes of harvestmen, Leiobunum limbatum and L. rotundum". Tissue and Cell 23 (1): 7–15. doi:10.1016/0040-8166(91)90062-X. PMID 18621152. 
  4. ^ A. M. Höfer, S. F. Perry & A. Schmitz (January 2000). "Respiratory system of arachnids II: morphology of the tracheal system of Leiobunum rotundum and Nemastoma lugubre (Arachnida, Opiliones)". Arthropod Structure & Development 29 (1): 13–21. doi:10.1016/S1467-8039(00)00009-8. 
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!