Opiliones in Belgium

(date of publication 14.VI.1999)
While the belgian community of eight-legged animals shudders with fear in view of the next excursion of the flourishing Arabel (Arachnologia Belgica), one little group keeps his peace of mind: the Harvestmen. The majority of arachnologists has lost interest since some simple youth experiments with the legs. I couldn't beat the knowledge of the Arabel-people, so I took the Opiliones as my territory.
Dr. Baert (Royal Institute of Natural Sciences) kindly put the relevant collections at my disposal. Although Opiliones were never the object of a sampling session, the bottles were rich enough to keep me happy for several years on row. I added some material from my own entomological studies and from the former Laboratory of Oecology (State University Ghent).

When finally the number of Opiliones minded people doubled with W. Slosse, I knew that distribution maps with not too many blancs where within reach. His umbrella sampling-method is very succesful, as proved by the explosion of recent observations in the western part of the country.

Species list and Distribution maps
Anelasmocephalus cambridgei (Westwood)
Trogulus nepaeformis (Scopoli)
Trogulus tricarinatus (Linnaeus)
Mitostoma chrysomelas (Hermann)
Paranemastoma quadripunctatum (Perty)
Nemastoma bimaculatum (Fabricius)
Nemastoma lugubre (Müller)
Homalenotus quadridentatus (Cuvier)
Rilaena triangularis (Herbst)
Platybunus pinetorum (C.L.Koch)
Phalangium opilio Linneaus
Opilio parietinus (Degeer)
Opilio canestrinii (Thorell)
Opilio saxatilis (C.L.Koch)
Mitopus morio (Fabricius)
Lacinius ephippiatus (C.L.Koch)
Lacinius horridus (Panzer)
Lophopilio palpinalis (Herbst)
Odiellus spinosus (Bosc)
Paroligolophus agrestis (Meade)
Oligolophus hansenii (Kraepelin)
Oligolophus tridens (C.L.Koch)
Leiobunum rotundum (Latreille)
Leiobunum blackwalli Meade
Amilenus aurantiacus (Simon)
Dicranopalpus ramosus (Simon)

Some words about the samples
In short:
We have almost no old observations.
Recent sampling forgets the southern part of the country.
Read more about the samples

More about the number of species
In short:
The species richness is mostly a reflection of the sampling effort.

Maps and discussion

The legit names
I would be nowhere without the collections of the Royal Institute of Natural Sciences and the people submitting their samples. If you ever donated even only one sample to the R.I.N.S., your name can be on this list.

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Path: Opiliones in Belgium