Gonyleptidae

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Gonyleptidae
Metag-calcar.jpg
Metagonyleptes calcar Roewer, 1913, from Brazil.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Opiliones
Family: Gonyleptidae
Sundevall, 1833
Subfamilies

See text for list.

Gonyleptidae is a neotropical family of harvestmen (Order Opiliones) with more than 800 species, the largest in the Suborder Laniatores and the second largest of the Opiiones as a whole. The largest known harvestmen are gonyleptids.

Like most harvestmen, gonyleptids are almost exclusively nocturnal, except some Caelopyginae, Goniosomatinae, (during reproductive season), Gonyleptinae, Mitobatinae, Pachylinae and Progonyleptoidellinae. Most species inhabit dense tropical, subtropical and temperate (Chile) forests, but some occur in open vegetation as the Pampas, the Cerrado, and the Caatinga. There are some species that live in caves, but only three troglobites are recorded for the family.

Name[edit]

The family is named after the type genus Gonyleptes, which is derived from Greek gony, gonatos = joint, knee + leptos, ê, on = thin, fine, delicate.

Diagnosis[edit]

Laniatores with coxa IV immensely developed, widely surpassing dorsal scutum in dorsal view in most species. Many species with double ozopore. Pedipalpus with cylindrical segments, strongly spined, tibia and tarsus flattened ventrally. Basal segments of leg IV with strong sexual dimorphism, shown either in spination, curvature or length. Penis with ventral plate well defined, glans may bear ventral and/or dorsal processes.

Distribution[edit]

Recorded continuously from the southernmost tip of the South American continent (Southern Chile and Argentina), Falklands to Costa Rica, with one isolated species cited from Guatemala.

Subfamilies[edit]

At the moment, Gonyleptidae comprises 16 subfamilies, 284 genera and 823 species:

Relationships[edit]

Gonyleptidae is the sister-group of Cosmetidae and both are related to the Stygnidae and Cranaidae (Kury, 1992).

References[edit]

  • Kury, A.B. (1992). The false Cranainae of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (Opiliones, Gonyleptidae). Tropical Zoology, 5(2): 279-291.