Sunday 13 January 2013

A cool harvestman

Today I came across an unmistakable harvestman species, Dicranopalpus ramosus. This species has - or is in the process of - colonising Europe from its original home in North Africa. It is unclear if this expansion has or not anything to do with human transportation, but it has been suggested that it could could have been introduced with garden plants or horticultural produce, and the species has carried on expanding. It was first noted in the UK in 1957, and reported in Scotland in 2000.
 This is the second time I spot this harvestman. The first time (07/11/2009), was in the same location and also on a headstone (above). They have a typical resting posture, close to the substrate, with their long legs outstretched to the sides, and they often rest alongside leaves or branches this way. When resting on walls - or in this case on headstones - they are easy to spot. The second distinctive feature is that, their palps are forked. Males have a dark mask across the eyes and plain bodies about 4 mm in length, females have pale eye region and dark patterns in their body, palps and legs. 
Adults are found from the end of July onwards, peaking in September, apparently happy to live until February or March if the frosts don't kill them. 

A female
Male showing the usual stretched posture.
Close up of the same male.

No records were available for East Yorkshire, so these now have been uploaded into iRecord.

More information
Page in the British Spiders site.

1 comment:

Harga Printer said...

Great.. I Love it Thanks