Summary for Dicranopalpus ramosus (Opiliones)

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National Distribution

 
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Dicranopalpus ramosus Copyright: Peter Harvey
Identification difficulty rating: 5
Name: Dicranopalpus ramosus
Authority: (Simon, 1909)
Order: Arachnida: Opiliones
Family: Leiobunidae

Records: 1898
First Record: 1946
Latest Record: 2017

1992-on hectads: 469
Pre-1992 hectads: 91
Total hectads: 552

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
0m to 303m

Species text

Distribution
It has recently been recognised that two species of Dicranopalpus occur in Britain (Wijnhoven & Prieto 2015) – see also Dicranopalpus caudatus.

Dicranopalpus ramosus is the larger of the two species of Dicranopalpus in Britain and males have a characteristic ‘Zorro mask’ across the eyes. There is some doubt about the identity of the early British records of Dicranopalpus as at least some of these are now considered to be D. caudatus. Indeed Hillyard's (2005) description and illustration of D. ramosus relate to D. caudatus.

This species is a relatively recent introduction, which has spread rapidly and now occurs widely across Britain. By 2017 it had reached as far north as the Isle of Skye and Moray Firth in Scotland. In reality there are likely to have been a number of introductions across Britain rather than the usually described spread from the south. The earliest confirmed record (so far) was from Clacton-on-Sea, Essex in 1970 (Wijnhoven & Prieto 2015).

Dicranopalpus ramosus was first described in material from Morocco and it has been suggested that the species may have spread to Europe via southern France in the 1960s and reached Britain by the 1970s. It now occupies Ireland, northern Spain, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and southern Sweden.

Re-examination of Dicranopalpus specimens is encouraged to help resolve the distributions of the two species, and the HRS Organiser will be happy to discuss identification of specimens.

Habitat and ecology
This is very much a species of parks, gardens and cemeteries where there are ornamental trees and bushes (particularly conifers). It also occurs in various types of woodland, brown-field habitats and around buildings. Both species of Dicranopalpus are readily collected by beating trees and bushes, and are easily spotted, with legs characteristically spread sideways, especially when resting on whitewashed walls.

Adults are present from June/July, peaking in Aug/Sept, and then decline through to December with some persisting to March. This species overwinters in the egg stage with juveniles hatching in May/June. The juveniles are found in the lower vegetation layers with later instars higher up.

There appears to be a lack of published information of the feeding activities of Dicranopalpus.

Status
Recent introduction, now spreading rapidly.

Text based on: Hillyard, P. D. 2005. Harvestmen: keys and notes for the identification of British species. Synopses of the British Fauna 4 (3rd edn). Field Studies Council, Shrewsbury.

References
Wijnhoven, H. & Prieto, C. E. 2015. Dicranopalpus caudatus Dresco, 1948: not a synonym of Dicranopalpus ramosus (Simon, 1909) but a valid species after all (Arachnida, Opiliones). Revista Ibérica de Aracnología 26: 25–34.

 References

Adult Season

Adult Season Data (based on 213 records with adult season information)


Habitats

background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 502 records with habitat information)

Broad subhabitat Data (based on 73 records with subhabitat information)

Structural Habitat Data (based on 249 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 519 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Dicranopalpus ramosus

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Dicranopalpus ramosus

Images

Fork palped harvestman near Aberdovey
Fork palped harvestman near Aberdovey
Female Spider Wasp
Female Spider Wasp
Harvestman Dicranopalpus ramosus
Harvestman Dicranopalpus ramosus
Harvestman in moth trap
Harvestman in moth trap
Harvestman on bathroom wall
Harvestman on bathroom wall
Dicranopalpus ramosus 30.x.2009
Dicranopalpus ramosus 30.x.2009
Dicranopalpus ramosus 31.viii.2006
Dicranopalpus ramosus 31.viii.2006
Dicranopalpus ramosus male 061215 (2)
Dicranopalpus ramosus male 061215 (2)
Dicranopalpus ramosus male 061215
Dicranopalpus ramosus male 061215
Dicranopalpus ramosus female 100911
Dicranopalpus ramosus female 100911
Harvestman on doorstep
Harvestman on doorstep
Fork-palped Harvestman
Fork-palped Harvestman
Probable Dicranopalpus ramosus close-up
Probable Dicranopalpus ramosus close-up
Probable Dicranopalpus ramosus full view (almost)
Probable Dicranopalpus ramosus full view (almost)
Dicranopalpus ramosus 1
Dicranopalpus ramosus 1
Dicranopalpus ramosus pedipalps
Dicranopalpus ramosus pedipalps
Female Dicranopalpus ramosus
Female Dicranopalpus ramosus
Dicranopalpus ramosus Female
Dicranopalpus ramosus Female
Dicranopalpus ramosus Male
Dicranopalpus ramosus Male
Dicranopalpus ramosus
Dicranopalpus ramosus
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