Nederlands English

Order: Opiliones, Harvestmen

Most Dutch harvestmen on one page.

The site is long with many photo, there are three parts: Introduction, Abstract and Overview species with description.


Introduction:

When searching for springtails, you do encounter harvestmen of course. For the photographer it are funny topics that stay put for a while and make a photo series possible. So I photographed in the forest near my house a harvestman which was very quiet. Because you have with macro photography little depth of field, I made a series of photos with the sharpness at different places. With a program you can process the series into a single photo with a big depth of field.
I did like the result, so I decided to place the photo on the forum of waarneming.nl

Platybunus pinetorum
Platybunus pinetorum, processed photo

This brought an unexpected response. The photo was created in the winter and then Rilaena triangularis is to be considered as the only from the large harvestmen, be course it comes trough winter as a larva and not as a egg. And Yes, a rare species, but you don't expect it. The admin of the forum, however, responded with the comment that I had to change the name of the animal to that of the rare species harvestman Platybunus pinetorum and then wait what the experts had to say. Unexpectedly, I had photographed an animal that was known only from a few places on the Veluwe and so now also from Drenthe.

Platybunus pinetorum ♂
Platybunus pinetorum ♂

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Abstract:

Harvestmen are not toxic.

Harvestmen are often called spiders but they are a separate order. Harvestmen have no possibility to spin a web, they can't produce silk. What also is missing are the venom glands that spiders do have. The story that the harvestmen are very toxic is consequently not true. To defend themselves they can release a smelly liquid.

Harvestmen have no venom glands and are non-toxic
Harvestmen have no venom glands and are non-toxic

Voedsel

Rilaena triangularis, juvenile, eats a springtail
Rilaena triangularis, juvenile, eats a springtail

Harvestmen are generally omnivores. So they eat both vegetable and animal food, although there are species that only eat animal-based feeds. Often it are scavengers and they live further from decaying plants, small invertebrates etc. They reduce their food with the shears that are on the chelicerae. Below on the picture of a dead male D. ramosus that I've found in a spider's web you can clearly see how this looks like. It are a kind of lobsters scissors. It consists of three parts, the first part is pointing forward, the second downward and forms with the third the scissors. I have laid down the dead animal on its back, so you can see the scissors well. Often the chelicerae are increased on the males. A good example is the male Phalangium opilio, which you can recognize at a great distance at the great chelicerae.
In addition to the cheliceren there are the pedipalps, on the picture they put forward and walk out of view. In the Dicranopalpus ramosus the pedipalps are forked, on which you can identify the species. Often are they differed in male and female, in D. ramosus the male has thin pedipalps, the female pedipalps are thick and hairy.
Further you see on both sides the four walking legs, i.e. the attachments, because this animal misses a number of legs.

strekpoot, Dicranopalpus ramosus ♂
strekpoot, Dicranopalpus ramosus ♂

Molting

Like all other arthropods the harvestmen have to shed their skin. After several times they are adult and then stop molting. For molting they hang somewhere and crawl out of their old skin, such as the harvestman on the photo. Normally the harvestmen has a lot (8) of legs now it's a bunch, eight legs from the newly shed animal and eight of the old skin. You often find empty skins under the hollow side of pieces bark that lay on the ground.

Dicranopalpus ramosus
Dicranopalpus ramosus

Reproduction

Harvestmen life generally a year and reproduction goes through eggs. Internal fertilization takes place, at the mating are the animals facing each other. The females put the eggs with a ovipositor in the ground or on damp places such as in crevices in the bark of trees. Most species come through the winter in the egg phase. On the photos below, a female Leiobunum spec A and Platybunus pinetorum with ovipositor, a male Platybunus pinetorum with visible reproductive organ and mating of Opilio saxatilis.

Leiobunum spec A, ovipositor visible
Leiobunum spec A, ovipositor visible

Platybunus, ovipositor visible
Platybunus pinetorum, ovipositor visible

Platybunus pinetorum ♂
Platybunus pinetorum ♂

Platybunus pinetorum ♂
Platybunus pinetorum ♂

Opilio saxatilis
Opilio saxatilis

Opilio saxatilis
Opilio saxatilis

Opilio saxatilis
Opilio saxatilis

Opilio saxatilis
Opilio saxatilis

a spider and a harvestman

spider
spider

harvestman
harvestman

The difference between harvestmen and spiders is that harvestmen are so on the eye a ball with legs, spiders have always two body sections, are clearly two pieces with the legs on the front part. The eyes of harvestmen lay on a hillock on top of the body, they have two eyes, spiders usually have six or eight eyes.

Daddy longlegs:

In English the Opiliones are called harvestmen or daddy longlegs. The last name is confusing because that is also used for a spider and for the craneflys.

cranefly
cranefly_daddy longlegs

Pholcus spider
Pholcus spider_daddy longlegs

harvestman
harvestman_daddy longlegs

Mites

Harvestmen often suffer from parasitic mites. On the legs as in these two Platybunus pinetorum, but also sometimes on the body. It are the larvae of the Velvet mite, see my page diversen for photographs of the mite, sorry the text there is in Dutch.

Platybunus pinetorum with mite
Platybunus pinetorum with mite

Platybunus pinetorum with mite
Platybunus pinetorum with mite

Mitopus morio with mites
Mitopus morio with mites

Rilaena triangularis, juvenile with mite
Rilaena triangularis, juvenile with mite

Species

In The Netherlands there are now 32 species. Worldwide approximately 7000 species. An overview of the Dutch species from 1975 mentions 21, (Spoek 1975). pdf English. The last 39 years there have been 11 species introduced, an increase of 21 to 32 so 52% increase. This are species from the South of Europe and North Africa that extend to the North.
Below is a list in order of first performance with at the back the author who described the first sighting in The Netherlands with sometimes the possibility to download this document from the website of Naturalis.nl, natur-in-nrw.de, and eis-nederland.nl:

1991 Opilio canestrinii (Thorell, 1876) (Weele 1993)
1993 Dicranopalpus ramosus (Simon, 1909) (Cuppen 1994)
1997 Nemastoma bimaculatum (Fabricius, 1775) (Wijnhoven 1997)
1997 Trogulus nepaeformis (Scopoli, 1763) (Wijnhoven 1998ab
1998 Platybunus pinetorum (C.L. Koch, 1839) (Wijnhoven 1998ba)
2002 Leiobunum sp. A (Wijnhoven et al. 2007) (pdf)
2003 Astrobunus laevipes laevipes (Canestrini, 1872) (Wijnhoven 2003) (pdf)
2004 Nelima sempronii Szalay, 1951 (Wijnhoven 2005) (pdf)
2006 Nelima doriae (Canestrinii, 1871) (Wijnhoven 2007) (pdf)
2012 Leiobunum religiosum Simon, 1879

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Overview species:


Mitostoma chrysomelas

Mitostoma chrysomelas is pretty easy to recognize on the two pedipalps that forms a kind of fork that is pointing forward. The pedipalps are densely covered with sticky hairs. It is a small harvestman, body length females up to 2mm, males up to 1.6mm. It has long legs I usually find it under old wood and old loose bark but also under stone. It often runs pretty fast and than it is difficult to make good pictures of it. Is it sitting for a while, then it is a very photogenic animal.
You can download an article (English) with comments on the Systematics of this species group by J. Meijer (Meijer 1973) pdf from the Naturalis website.

Mitostoma chrysomelas juvenile
Mitostoma chrysomelas juvenile

Mitostoma chrysomelas juvenile
Mitostoma chrysomelas juvenile

Mitostoma chrysomelas juvenile
Mitostoma chrysomelas juvenile

Mitostoma chrysomelas juvenile
Mitostoma chrysomelas juvenile

Mitostoma chrysomelas juvenile
Mitostoma chrysomelas juvenile

Mitostoma chrysomelas juvenile
Mitostoma chrysomelas juvenile

Mitostoma chrysomelas adult
Mitostoma chrysomelas adult

Mitostoma chrysomelas adult
Mitostoma chrysomelas adult

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Nemastoma bimaculatum

A rare species is Nemastoma bimaculatum. It has taken a long time before I find the first. The white spots are in this species very sharp angular and have a distinct notch on the outside. Also look at the species Nemastoma lugubre that looks very much alike. Body length females to 2.5mm, males up to 2.2mm.

Nemastoma bimaculatum
Nemastoma bimaculatum

Nemastoma bimaculatum
Nemastoma bimaculatum

Nemastoma bimaculatum
Nemastoma bimaculatum

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Nemastoma dentigerum

Nemastoma dentigerum also belongs to the smaller species, like this whole family. Body length females to 1.9mm, males up to 1.7mm. There is a little problem with recognizing this species. There also seem to be all black forms of the species that normally have white spots. The result is that you call a whole black harvestman Nemastoma dentigerum, while it is a black version of one of the other species. It is only obvious if you have a male, who has a tooth on the pedipalps.

Nemastoma dentigerum
Nemastoma dentigerum

Nemastoma dentigerum, ♂
Nemastoma dentigerum, ♂

Nemastoma dentigerum, just molted
Nemastoma dentigerum, just molted

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Nemastoma lugubre

From the family Nemastomatidae I see Nemastoma lugubre the most, even some exemples with a diviant drawing I have found, see the bottom two photos. One has a extra large white spot behind on the back and the other has even two extra spots right behind the two normal. The shape of the spots is round off this is in contrast to the species Nemastoma bimaculatum. I find the animals especially if it has rained and it is very wet on the forest floor. Sometimes there are more than one under a dead branch or bark on the ground. Body length females to 2.7mm, males up to 1.8mm.

Nemastoma lugubre
Nemastoma lugubre

Nemastoma lugubre
Nemastoma lugubre

Nemastoma lugubre
Nemastoma lugubre, besides a woodlouse

Nemastoma lugubre
Nemastoma lugubre, abnormal spots, three instaed of two

Nemastoma lugubre
Nemastoma lugubre, abnormal spots, two more behind the two normal

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Paranemastoma quadripunctatum

Paranemastoma quadripunctatum is a very rare species.
Henk Soepenberg discovered 09-04-2014 an individual near Dalfsen in Overijssel. That is for me a reason to go looking on the marked place, where I find one and can make some photos. Later I find them also in Eys and Winterswijk. It's a pretty big harvestman compared to the other of this family. Both, male and female are up to 4 mm long. There are bright spots on the body and there are two rows of bumps on the back. The animal is therefore very easy to stand out from the other black harvestmen.

Paranemastoma quadripunctatum
Paranemastoma quadripunctatum

Paranemastoma quadripunctatum
Paranemastoma quadripunctatum

Paranemastoma quadripunctatum
Paranemastoma quadripunctatum

Paranemastoma quadripunctatum
Paranemastoma quadripunctatum

Paranemastoma quadripunctatum
Paranemastoma quadripunctatum

Paranemastoma quadripunctatum
Paranemastoma quadripunctatum

Paranemastoma quadripunctatum
Paranemastoma quadripunctatum

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Astrobunus laevipes

Astrobunus laevipes is a small animal with short legs, that does not move on disruption, it makes finding very difficult. The females are up to 4.1 mm, males up to 2.9 mm. They are usually under wood on the high tide line of the great rivers. Typical are the light-colored little teeth on top of the eye hillock and the rows of points on the back. The species is rare in Netherlands.

Astrobunus laevipes
Astrobunus laevipes

Astrobunus laevipes
Astrobunus laevipes

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Dicranopalpus ramosus

One species from this family is very easily recognizable, it is Dicranopalpus ramosus. This animal usually sits with legs outstretched, all four next to each other. Typical for this species is that it has very long forked palps, not legs but mouth tools. It seems that it has five pairs of legs, but that is not so, all harvestmen have four pairs of legs like the spiders and mites, hence they are classified as Arachnids.
Original this species was to be found in Morocco, but is now spread across Europe. This species is only since 1993 appearing (first sighting) in the Netherlands (Cuppen 1994) but is already an ordinary species, they are adult pretty late in the year, usually from August. Body length females up to 6mm, males up to 4mm. The females have a bump on the back side of the body. In addition, the pedipalps of the female are rounder and more hairy than those of the male.
Individually there is much difference in colour, see the picture of a very dark female.
The colour form with a dark band running over the eyes, is called on the German website Wiki des Spinnen-Forums the colour form "Zorro".

Dicranopalpus ramosus ♀
Dicranopalpus ramosus ♀

Dicranopalpus ramosus ♂
Dicranopalpus ramosus ♂

Dicranopalpus ramosus ♀
Dicranopalpus ramosus ♀

Dicranopalpus ramosus ♀
Dicranopalpus ramosus ♀

Dicranopalpus ramosus ♀
Dicranopalpus ramosus ♀

Dicranopalpus ramosus ♂
Dicranopalpus ramosus ♂

Dicranopalpus ramosus ♂
Dicranopalpus ramosus ♂

Dicranopalpus ramosus ♂
Dicranopalpus ramosus ♂

Dicranopalpus ramosus ♂
Dicranopalpus ramosus ♂, complete animal on the picture

21-02-2012 After dinner I suddenly see a harvestman walking on the table. The way of moving reminds me of a Dicranopalpus ramosus, but it is very very small, the body is about 1 mm long. I can make a few photos of it on one of the brochures which are on the table. When viewing the pictures I see that the forked palps. It is therefore clearly a juvenile Dicranopalpus ramosus. On 12-06-2014 I photograph a small harvestman with clearly forked palps, white back stripe with white spots next to it, further behind the body a white cross stripe. Compared with the animal of 21.02-2012, the same drawing is there as well.

Dicranopalpus ramosus juvenile
Dicranopalpus ramosus juvenile

Dicranopalpus ramosus juvenile
Dicranopalpus ramosus juvenile

Dicranopalpus ramosus juvenile
Dicranopalpus ramosus juvenile

Dicranopalpus ramosus juvenile
Dicranopalpus ramosus juvenile 05-08-2012

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Homalenotus quadridentatus

A flat, small harvestman, with short legs and a skin where the sand is easy stuck on, it is clearly to see on the photos. That is Homalenotus quadridentatus. The animal of the photo is found by Jinze Noordijk. The females and males are up to 4.5 mm. There are two teeth on the front of the animal, a great big with underneath a smaller. On the back there are rows of dark spots and in the end four clearly protruding teeth Above the eye is a number of small teeth.

Homalenotus quadridentatus
Homalenotus quadridentatus

Homalenotus quadridentatus
Homalenotus quadridentatus

Homalenotus quadridentatus
Homalenotus quadridentatus

Homalenotus quadridentatus
Homalenotus quadridentatus

Homalenotus quadridentatus
Homalenotus quadridentatus

I did take the animal home to be able to fotograph it. At home I have placed it in a plastic tray with a piece of tree bark from my garden. Occasionally I enter half a grape or raisin pieces. After three months I see walk two young harvestmen, very very small. I have taken photos of them and again after each molt, so you see below the development of the animals. Number 1 is the first stage.

Homalenotus quadridentatus, juvenile 1
Homalenotus quadridentatus, juvenile 1

Homalenotus quadridentatus, juvenile 1
Homalenotus quadridentatus, juvenile 1

Homalenotus quadridentatus, juvenile 2
Homalenotus quadridentatus, juvenile 2

Homalenotus quadridentatus, juvenile 2
Homalenotus quadridentatus, juvenile 2

Homalenotus quadridentatus, juvenile 3
Homalenotus quadridentatus, juvenile 3

Homalenotus quadridentatus, juvenile 3
Homalenotus quadridentatus, juvenile 3

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Lacinius ephippiatus

Lacinius ephippiatus is a medium-sized harvestman with on the back a rectangular saddle drawing, at least with the males. There is a trident for the eyes. The females are up to 4.8mm, males up to 4.3mm. I find the animals in the Wood under pieces loose bark. On some places in the wood I have laid down found bark with the hollow under side to the bottom. On my walks I check them each time and often there appears to be harvestmen sitting under it. I have the strong impression that it is also a favourite place for harvestmen to moult.

Lacinius ephippiatus juvenile
Lacinius ephippiatus juvenile

Lacinius ephippiatus ♀
Lacinius ephippiatus ♀

Lacinius ephippiatus ♀
Lacinius ephippiatus ♀

Lacinius ephippiatus ♂
Lacinius ephippiatus ♂

Lacinius ephippiatus ♂
Lacinius ephippiatus ♂

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Leiobunum blackwalli

At Leiobunum blackwalli females are up to 5.2mm, males up to 3mm. The saddle stain on the back of the female is more or less a triangle that suddenly stops and is followed by a light coloured segment. Male and female you recognize at the eye hillock, this has in both sexes a dark stripe in the middle and light edges around the eyes. Leiobunum rotundum looks much alike, but is easy to distinguish. The eye hillock has in both sexes a light stripe in the middle and dark edges around the eyes and females have an other saddle stain.

Leiobunum blackwalli ♀
Leiobunum blackwalli ♀

Leiobunum blackwalli ♀
Leiobunum blackwalli ♀

Leiobunum blackwalli ♀
Leiobunum blackwalli ♀

 

Leiobunum blackwalli ♂
Leiobunum blackwalli ♂

Leiobunum blackwalli ♂
Leiobunum blackwalli ♂

Leiobunum blackwalli juvenile
Leiobunum blackwalli juvenile

Leiobunum blackwalli juvenile
Leiobunum blackwalli juvenile

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Leiobunum religiosum

On 30-09-2012 Johan Bink finds a female harvestman of a species that was not previously found in the Netherlands. The find is reported in the forum of waarneming.nl and it turns out to be a Leiobunum religiosum. By Jinze Noordijk, the chairman of the harvestman working group, Arp Kruithof, Johan Bink who found the first female, and myself a search tour is organized on 11-10-2012 to find more individuals of this species.
The photos are of the very first animals of this species that are found in the Netherlands. The top two photos are of the female. The bottom two of a male. Characteristic of the species are the light-colored palps, black spots on the bottom and a typical back drawing. The females are up to 7.5mm, males up to 5.5mm. The species also occurs in Germany, France and Italy.

Leiobunum religiosum ♀
Leiobunum religiosum ♀

Leiobunum religiosum ♀
Leiobunum religiosum ♀

Leiobunum religiosum ♂
Leiobunum religiosum ♂

Leiobunum religiosum ♂
Leiobunum religiosum ♂

Leiobunum religiosum ♂
Leiobunum religiosum, ♂, 16-09-2014

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Leiobunum rotundum

This harvestman species forms groups and on 22-07-2011 I did find the species on several places in the nature area Het Metbroekbosch (Smeerling). First a foursome on a hop plant close together, also individuals on nettle and later on three different oak trees in much larger groups. It's a strange sight as you approach such a tree, you see a harvestman running to the rear of the trunk. If you also round the stem you do see a whole group of harvestmen racing from you. This running away you sometimes see also in Platybunus pinetorum but then there is only one specimen that is rushing and jumps from the tree if you're too fast approaching, I have not seen rotundum jump like this.
Leiobunum rotundum has very long legs and has a maximum body length for the female of 5.9mm, for the male 3.6mm. Very striking and a species attribute is the black eye hillock with a lighter stripe in the middle. The men are reddish without drawing, the women have a black rectangle on the back and a black triangle in front of the eyes.

Leiobunum rotundum ♂
Leiobunum rotundum ♂

Leiobunum rotundum ♂
Leiobunum rotundum ♂

Leiobunum rotundum
Leiobunum rotundum

Leiobunum rotundum ♀
Leiobunum rotundum ♀

Leiobunum rotundum ♀
Leiobunum rotundum ♀

Leiobunum rotundum couple
Leiobunum rotundum couple

Leiobunum rotundum couple
Leiobunum rotundum couple

Leiobunum rotundum juvenile
Leiobunum rotundum juvenile

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Leiobunum spec.A

This species of harvestman is since about the year 2000 in The Netherlands and it is now clear that it is a new species for science. It is a very large species with very long legs, up to 90 mm and a maximum body length for the female of 6.4 mm, for the male 4.9 mm. The species sometimes forms whole aggregations of harvestmen so there arise a big black spot on a wall of sometimes hundreds of animals.
The animal is much observed by Hay Wijnhoven see (in English): Wijnhoven, Hay (2011) pdf with a detailed description of the behaviour of this animal.

Leiobunum spec A
Leiobunum spec A juvenile 17-05-2014

Leiobunum spec A
Leiobunum spec A juvenile 17-05-2014

Leiobunum spec A
Leiobunum spec A ♀

Leiobunum spec A ♀ with ovipositor
Leiobunum spec A ♀ with ovipositor

Leiobunum spec A ♂
Leiobunum spec A ♂

Leiobunum spec A ♂
Leiobunum spec A ♂

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Lophopilio palpinalis

Lophopilio palpinalis becomes up to 4 mm long. First some photos of a still immature animal. Normally this species is adult from August. Typical four teeth on the eye hillock in which the second is slightly longer, from the side it looks like a crown. On the front is a trident with the middle tooth as longest. The species is quite rare.

Lophopilio palpinalis
Lophopilio palpinalis, juvenile 07-05-2015

Lophopilio palpinalis
Lophopilio palpinalis, juvenile 02-06-2013

Lophopilio palpinalis
Lophopilio palpinalis, juvenile 15-07-2011

Lophopilio palpinalis
Lophopilio palpinalis

Lophopilio palpinalis
Lophopilio palpinalis

Lophopilio palpinalis
Lophopilio palpinalis

Lophopilio palpinalis
Lophopilio palpinalis

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Mitopus morio

The females are to over 8.2mm, males up to 5.3mm. It is of the harvestmen the species that has the largest range, all temperate and cold areas of Europe, Asia and North America. The species is long-legged, although the animals from colder areas (the high mountains and the Northern cold areas) have shorter legs. These animals often have a light stripe on the back. In animals from Netherlands and Northern Germany, this light stripe can also occur.

Mitopus morio juvenile
Mitopus morio juvenile

Mitopus morio juvenile
Mitopus morio juvenile

Mitopus morio ♂
Mitopus morio ♂

Mitopus morio ♀
Mitopus morio ♀

Mitopus morio ♂
Mitopus morio ♂

Mitopus morio ♀
Mitopus morio ♀

Mitopus morio ♀
Mitopus morio ♀

06-07-2013. According to a recent internet publication of 4 June 2013 Arthofer et al. 2013 (Epub) it is not as easy as described above. There appear to be at least three, barely indistinguishable, species that occur in Austria. This is demonstrated by a research to a limited number of animals and there need to be done more research to this species before there will be a final publication.

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Nelima doriae

Nelima doriae is known from only one place in The Netherlands. It is first found by Hay Wijnhoven in Kessel, in the province Limburg in 2006. (Wijnhoven, 2007) It is believed that this species is spread by man. Females are up to 6 mm, males up to 3,8 mm. The species is very rare, of origin lies in the Mediterranean. It is difficult to distinguish the species from Nelima sempronii. You should watch for small details if you want to recognize the animal from a picture. There is difference in the eye hillock. There is a black belt at doriae around the eye and in the front of the hillock dark Brown, on top light in colour. The most obvious difference is in the females, which are darker in color than the semproni females.

Nelima doriae
Nelima doriae, ♂

Nelima doriae
Nelima doriae, ♀

Nelima doriae
Nelima doriae, juvenile

Nelima doriae
Nelima doriae

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Nelima gothica

Nelima gothica lives near the coast or near running water. It is a soil species that lives between the plants or under stones and wood. The females are up to 4.7 mm, males up to 3.5 mm. It is a very rare species. The specimen of the picture is found by Johan Bink.

Nelima gothica
Nelima gothica

Nelima gothica
Nelima gothica

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Nelima sempronii

Nelima sempronii is a pretty simple brown colored harvestman. It is a rare species, these two are photographed in the Ooijpolder at Nijmegen. (Thanks to Hay wijnhoven). In front of the eye hillock is a distinctive light stripe. The tips of the palps are bent inwards. Behind on the body are light stripes and all over the body light dots can be seen.

Nelima sempronii, ♂
Nelima sempronii, ♂

Nelima sempronii, ♀
Nelima sempronii, ♀

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Odiellus spinosus

Odiellus is a rare harvestmen in The Netherlands, and I can't discover it near my hometown. On 23-06-2012 calls a friend of mine, Peter Wieringa, he has seen three in his garden and put one of them in a jar to be able to take photos of it. So, in the car and to Peter to take pictures. The animal cooperate reasonably and after a series of photos it goes in the garden again. This species has short legs and a large body only by that he already stands out. Furthermore there are three teeth in front of the eye hillock whose roots seem to come from the eye hillock. So an easy to recognize species. The females are up to 10.5mm, males up to 8.5mm.

Odiellus spinosus
Odiellus spinosus, juvenile

Odiellus spinosus
Odiellus spinosus

Odiellus spinosus
Odiellus spinosus

Odiellus spinosus
Odiellus spinosus

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Oligolophus hanseni

The harvestman Oligolophus hanseni is small and looks a lot alike the Oligolophus tridens. You can distinguish it by the eye hillock. At the trident the eye hillock is smooth and light of colour, at hanseni the eye hillock is dark with light teeth. Both animals have in front of the eyes to the edge of the body some teeth. Hanseni has five teeth in a row where the trident has three. Females of this species can be up to 5mm, males are up to 3,5mm. It is a common species. Animals that are photographed on a dark reddish-brown background are under pieces death bark, animals with a green background sit on beech trunks.

Oligolophus hanseni
Oligolophus hanseni

Oligolophus hanseni
Oligolophus hanseni

Oligolophus hanseni
Oligolophus hanseni

Oligolophus hanseni
Oligolophus hanseni

Oligolophus hanseni
Oligolophus hanseni

Oligolophus hanseni
Oligolophus hanseni

Oligolophus hanseni
Oligolophus hanseni

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Oligolophus tridens

The Oligolophus tridens has three tooth in front of the eye hillock the middle one being the longest. The drawing on the back is a not very clear drawn rectangular saddle, that to the back ends in two backward curved half circles. Behind it you often see two dots. It also appears that the body is very light of colour without the saddle visible, so the colour is not a useful attribute in this species. Also other species are variable in colour. The first two photos show well the trident and the back drawing in the female. At the bottom photo of the male is also clearly visible that the middle one of the three teeth is the longest. Both sexes can have a body length of up to 5,2mm. They have short legs, they are small animals and it is a very common species. Under loose bark in the forest and between the grass and weeds you see them a lot, they are also often on the leaves of the stinging nettle.

Oligolophus tridens
Oligolophus tridens

Oligolophus tridens
Oligolophus tridens

Oligolophus tridens
Oligolophus tridens

Oligolophus tridens
Oligolophus tridens

Oligolophus tridens ♂
Oligolophus tridens, ♂

Oligolophus tridens ♂
Oligolophus tridens, ♂

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Opilio canestrinii

This harvestman is observed for the first time in the Netherlands in 1991 (Van der Weele 1993), today it is a common species. Recognizable by the light transverse streaks on the back. The eye hillock is high and has to five teeth, the eyes are white surrounded. The legs are equipped with rows black teeth and are very long. Body length females to 8.1mm, males up to 6.1mm. Adult from July to December.

Opilio canestrinii juvenile
Opilio canestrinii juvenile

Opilio canestrinii juvenile
Opilio canestrinii juvenile

Opilio canestrinii just moulted, old skin under
Opilio canestrinii just moulted, old skin under

Opilio canestrinii ♂
Opilio canestrinii ♂

Opilio canestrinii ♂
Opilio canestrinii ♂

Opilio canestrinii ♂
Opilio canestrinii ♂

Opilio canestrinii ♀
Opilio canestrinii ♂

Opilio canestrinii ♀
Opilio canestrinii ♀

Opilio canestrinii ♀
Opilio canestrinii ♀

Opilio canestrinii ♀
Opilio canestrinii ♀

Opilio canestrinii ♀
Opilio canestrinii ♀

 

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Opilio parietinus

Opilio parietinus, formerly one of the most common species now almost entirely pushed aside and dominated by Opilio canestrinii. The animal looks like Opilio canestrinii but the distinctive white transverse stripes are missing. The females are up to 7.8 mm long, males up to 6.5 mm. The animals are mature from August to late november. This species lives on the walls of buildings and in caves. The pictures are made from one of the last two populations of this species in The Netherlands, in a rail tunnel between Wijlre and Eys in Zuid Limburg. The other population is found in Rotterdam under a viaduct. Both sites are cold and dark and probably Opilio parietinus can resist that better than Opilio canestrinii. (Noordijk, 2014)

Opilio parietinus, juvenile
Opilio parietinus, juvenile

Opilio parietinus, ♀
Opilio parietinus, ♀

Opilio parietinus, ♀
Opilio parietinus, ♀

Opilio parietinus, ♂
Opilio parietinus, ♂

Opilio parietinus, ♂
Opilio parietinus, ♂

Tunnel Eys
Tunnel Eys

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Opilio saxatilis

This harvestman is a South European species of origin and is spread by humans across Europe. The species likes dry warm places. I found it 28-06-2011 on a wall of a large planter in the garden of a manor in Flanders.
The females are up to 6mm long, males up to 5.2mm. They are mature from July to December. Characteristic for this species is the single tubercular (tooth) to the side next to the eye hillock.
30-07-2011. This morning I found this species in my own garden. This individual is probably not yet mature, but still must moult once. The two bottom pictures are from my "own" animal.

Opilio saxatilis
Opilio saxatilis

Opilio saxatilis
Opilio saxatilis

Opilio saxatilis
Opilio saxatilis

Opilio saxatilis
Opilio saxatilis

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Paroligolophus agrestis

Small, short legged species. Wide light stripe on the back and a hillock with five teeth in front on the body. Body length females up to 4.5mm, males up to 3.6mm. The animals are mature from July and in mild winters are observed until March.

Paroligolophus agrestis
Paroligolophus agrestis

Paroligolophus agrestis
Paroligolophus agrestis

Paroligolophus agrestis
Paroligolophus agrestis

Paroligolophus agrestis
Paroligolophus agrestis

 

Paroligolophus agrestis
Paroligolophus agrestis, newly moulded adult

Paroligolophus agrestis juvenile
Paroligolophus agrestis
juvenile 13-05-2013

Paroligolophus agrestis juvenile
Paroligolophus agrestis
juvenile 16-05-2013

Paroligolophus agrestis
Paroligolophus agrestis juv

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Phalangium opilio

Large long-legged harvestman with a characteristic white underside. Body length females to 7mm, males up to 6mm. On the back a clear saddle drawing. The males have a very long thorn on the chelicera, this is very noticeable and makes the males easily recognizable. The females can possibly be confused with those of Mitopus morio, but are clearly identified by the two teeth above the chelicera, the two white dots on the photo that you see if you look coming forward from the eye hillock on the edge of the white plane you then encounter. This is a species of heat, and you can find it on open places, even in the sun. In dark forests you will not find it.

Phalangium opilio ♂
Phalangium opilio ♂

Phalangium opilio ♂
Phalangium opilio ♂

Phalangium opilio ♀
Phalangium opilio ♀

Phalangium opilio ♀
Phalangium opilio ♀

Phalangium opilio ♀
Phalangium opilio ♀

Phalangium opilio juvenile
Phalangium opilio juvenile

Phalangium opilio juvenile
Phalangium opilio juvenile

Phalangium opilio juvenile
Phalangium opilio juvenile

There is a snag in the determination of the Phalangium, if you think that this species will be already long mature and you see a small harvestman with a reasonable smooth eye hillock you easily make a M. morio of it. The two teeth above the palps are also still often not present in young animals. That happened to me with the animal of the two pictures below. The picture was taken in January 2012 and then if you find a small harvestman you do think about the small species. But from Phalangium opilio you can find the year around young and semi adults. This animal was sitting on a pole along a grass field in Kampen. On such an open place you need first to think whether it can be a Phalangium.

Phalangium opilio juvenile
Phalangium opilio juvenile

Phalangium opilio juvenile
Phalangium opilio juvenile

Phalangium opilio fighting males
Phalangium opilio fighting males

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Platybunus pinetorum

This is in the Netherlands still a very rare harvestman and it seems to be strong expanding. Until 2010, it was known of some places in Central Netherlands. In 2011, this is extended with Zuid Limburg, environment Apeldoorn, environment Ommen and boswachterij Odoorn province of Drenthe.
The species Platybunus pinetorum overwinters as a juvenile, as well as Rilaena triangularis. From the end of March until the end of June are the animals mature. Body length females to 8mm, males up to 5.6mm. These animals can be found on the cooler places, especially dense forest. In most instances I do find the animals on the trunks of deciduous trees, beech, birch, Oak but also on conifers. Tribes of conifers have a rough bark and it is harder to see the animals, they certainly are there. Platybunus has a very broad eye hillock, which between the eyes is pressed in a little, in Rilaena it is pressed in deeper and the hillock is narrower. See also the photos at the bottom where both species stand side by side. Striking is the strong drawing of the females and the very dark colour of the men. Both sexes have huge teeth on the pedipalps, this is visible already in the juveniles.
On the old locations are often only females, men are an exception. In Odoorn I do find both males and females, slightly more females. The assumption is that the animals have an infection with a bacteria (Wolbachia or Cardinium) that prevents that males are born and the females reproduce parthenogenetic. An English article about this you can download here. (Martin, 2009) pdf. According to Hay Wijnhoven this phenomenon also occur in the Dutch harvestman Trogulus tricarinatus. The future must show whether the population in Odoorn also will have increasingly females and less males.

Platybunus pinetorum ♀
Platybunus pinetorum ♀

Platybunus pinetorum ♂
Platybunus pinetorum ♂

Platybunus pinetorum ♀
Platybunus pinetorum ♀

Platybunus pinetorum ♂
Platybunus pinetorum ♂

Platybunus pinetorum ♂
Platybunus pinetorum ♂

Platybunus pinetorum ♀
Platybunus pinetorum ♀

The first juveniles you see in July. The eye hillock is in relation to the body very big almost as wide as the body and it has now allready the orange color that is so characteristic for the species as well as the broad smooth curve between the eyes.

Platybunus pinetorum juvenile
Platybunus pinetorum juvenile

Platybunus pinetorum juvenile
Platybunus pinetorum juvenile

Platybunus pinetorum juvenile
Platybunus pinetorum juvenile

After a molt is the eye hillock in proportion to the body not as great, but still larger than at the adult animals. Sometimes a young harvestman even sit if a springtail runs over it. Such a springtail is about 3mm long, so you can see how small the harvestman is.

springtail and Platybunus pinetorum juvenile
springtail and Platybunus pinetorum juvenile

Platybunus pinetorum juvenile
Platybunus pinetorum juvenile

Platybunus pinetorum juvenile
Platybunus pinetorum juvenile

Platybunus pinetorum juvenile
Platybunus pinetorum juvenile

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Rilaena triangularis

In the English literature for Rilaena triangularis (Herbst, 1799)
the name Platybunus triangularis Simon, 1879 is used.

As well as Platybunus overwinters Rilaena as juveniles. It is adult from April until the end of July. Body length females to 7mm, males up to 4.5mm. The males are light tan, the females slightly darker brown with a distinct saddle drawing that is missing in the male. The eye hillock is an important determination attribute, a high, serrated deep incised increase.
16-09-2011 I succeed to find a small (a few mm) harvestman that wants to pose. Clearly the proportionately large eye hillock that is very dark in comparison with the previous species, in addition, you can see here on the eye hillock also small teeth.

Rilaena triangularis juvenile
Rilaena triangularis juv

Rilaena triangularis juvenile
Rilaena triangularis juv

Rilaena triangularis
Rilaena triangularis

Rilaena triangularis
Rilaena triangularis

Rilaena triangularis
Rilaena triangularis

Rilaena triangularis
Rilaena triangularis

Rilaena triangularis
Rilaena triangularis

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For comparison: Rilaena triangularis and Platybunus pinetorum

Rilaena triangularis
Rilaena triangularis

Platybunus pinetorum ♀
Platybunus pinetorum ♀

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Trogulidae

This group of harvestmen looks quite different than the others. Instead of a round ball with long legs are this oblong animals with short legs. Well there are also two eyes on a hillock. These animals also have hairs where between sand and such stays in place as with Homalenotus, so that they are well camouflaged. They are predators on snails and they are rare in the Netherlands. The Group of the Trogulidae is described by Wijhoven et al 2014. Because of this there is clarity in the whether or not occurrence of the three species Trogulus in The Netherlands. (Wijnhoven et al 2014).
The article contains a Key to bring the species to a name. On the photos are two main distinguishing characteristics indicated. Because the specimens are in alcohol the color is not like those in live animals. The first picture shows the triangle that indicates the relative dimensions of interocular distance and length of head cap, you do recognize the species by that. The second legs are on the other photo. Here's difference between the species too. The length proportions of the last three parts, tibia, metatars and tars, are different in the species.

Trogulus
a.Trogulus tricarinatus female b.T. closanicus male c.T. nepaeformis male

Trogulus
a.Trogulus tricarinatus female b.T. closanicus male c.T. nepaeformis male


Trogulus closanicus

In this species the eyes are far apart and are found more male than female. In traps are the males even five times as often present than the females. The females are up to 7.6 mm, males up to 6.5 mm.

Trogulus closanicus
Trogulus closanicus

Trogulus closanicus
Trogulus closanicus

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Trogulus tricarinatus

This is the smallest of the three Dutch species. The females are up to 5.9 mm, males up to 5.1 mm. The animal of the picture is the first one found by Dick Belgers in Noord-Braband. Of this species almost only female are found so it is believed to reproduce parthenogenetic.

Trogulus tricarinatus
Trogulus tricarinatus

Trogulus tricarinatus
Trogulus tricarinatus

Trogulus tricarinatus
Trogulus tricarinatus

Trogulus tricarinatus
Trogulus tricarinatus

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Thanks

I would like to thank Joost Vogels, Arp Kruithof and Hay Wijnhoven for the enormous amount of information they have provided me through the forum of waarneming.nl. By this my interest in the harvestmen became strongly stimulated.

 

literature:

 

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