Summary for Dicranopalpus larvatus (Opiliones)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
The species has been recorded in the British Isles from Scilly Isles, Guernsey and the Isle of Wight. More recently it has been recorded in England from Cornwall, Dorset, London, Norfolk, Herefordshire as far north as York and as far West as Tregarth, Caernarvonshire.
Habitat and ecology
This species seems to be commonly found in lowland areas and is not restricted to higher altitudes like some other European Dicranopalpus species (Wijnhoven and Martens, 2019).
Unusually, this species matures from autumn to spring with records of adults dated around March. There is limited information about the habitat types this species occupies but so far it has been recorded from a wide variety. These include coastal areas, woodlands and managed grassland areas such as gardens and cemeteries. Within these habitats, this species has been found predominantly in leaf litter and under stones but also in pitfall traps, under bark and from low vegetation. One individual was recorded feeding on rotten apples.
It is short-legged compared to other Dicranopalpus species. Males have a dark mask around the eyes with a black patch on the abdomen, females have irregular dark patches on carapace and abdomen. Examination of the penis and pedipalps can confirm D. larvatus, as the morphology of these features is species-specific (Wijnhoven and Martens, 2019).
As species is a new arrival to the British Isles, its status and whether it has become established in Britain is yet to be determined (Davidson, 2019). This species is otherwise found in Italy and is considered rare.
Original author of profile: Meg Skinner
Davidson, M.B., 2019. The British harvestman (Opiliones) fauna: 50 years of biodiversity change, and an annotated checklist. Arachnology, 18(3), pp.213-222.
Wijnhoven, H. and Martens, J., 2019. An enigmatic European harvestman (Opiliones): new record and redescription of Dicranopalpus larvatus (Canestrini, 1874). Arachnology, 18(1), pp.1-6. References