Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Legs and Feet

HARVESTMAN – DICRANOPALUSI RAMOSUS

Looking for an ID, meanwhile Cee was looking for legs and feet, and to that gaol I enter this Harvestman with its 8 legs and needless to say 8 feet. Collectively known as Harvestmen, scientifically known as Opiliones, more info can be found here.

Prior to posting this image I put it up on iSpot knowing someone would come up with an ID, and Lloyd9632 did, albeit just a suggestion based on its palps and the high ridges on the abdomen

Size: ~70 mm measured the tips of the second pair of legs. Early instars are extremely tiny re the body, and if they were to remain static when seeking them out they would easily be over looked.

Distribution: This species is common in the midlands of England leaning more heavily to the west from a line splitting the country on its north, south axis. In wales it is very common, getting less so the closer you get to the coastal regions. It widely dispersed across the rest of the UK and Eire. My personal opinion is that it is well under recorded, for unless one is purposely looking for Opiliones they are easily overlooked. Records for my county, Lincolnshire, VC53/54* inclusive, only total of 41 based on the NBN Gateway interactive map. Sadly for Lincolnshire records are only from 2009  to 2014. In my opinion, because I am aware that, the present day county and national recorders are supplied with, plus do have access to the UK records, via various websites, iRecord, being the main one and iSpot in my opinion being another relevantly important one.**

Habitat: Some heavy duty habitat records/descriptions can be found here, my specimen was tapped off low hedgerow branches of Hawthorn.

Phenology: Overwinters as an adult, and as eggs, juveniles appearing from early spring onwards.

Record Data:

DATE

SPECIES

RECORDER

DETERMINER

LOCATION

GRID REF

STAGE

QTY

GENDER

NOTES

06/10/2007

Dicranopalpus ramosus

M E Talbot

Lloyd iSpot

Lincoln

SK957686

Adult

1

N/R

see *’s

NB National and County recorders please feel free to copy and use appropriately.

HARVESTMAN – DICRANOPALUSI RAMOSUS

Opiliones
HARVESTMAN – DICRANOPALUSI RAMOSUS

* Vice county map of Britain and Ireland

** I have to confess that I have issues with the academic’s in the field of natural history. I am, like a lot them, Old School, however I do take into account that we are now in the twenty first century, and accept that a lot has changed in how things are perceived in this age of digital and technological advancement. There are a lot differences to how they once were, as in digital cameras being so advanced in the area of resolution that in the majority of cases a microscope is not now required to determine an identification. However, the ardent old schoolers wont accept proffered ID’s for what were difficult to identify species unless accompanied by a sample specimen, just an image would not be acceptable. Of course there will always be instances were nature confounds the most expert of the experts by having 2 or more species from the same genus that are phenotypically identical. In the latter mentioned, of course microscopic examination is required, however there is a proviso or two, which relates to host plants, and one that I am sure the old schoolers purposely forget, and that is when it comes to locations. Even if the latter anomaly is involved and the species is simple to ID , like an infant can identify it, one gets feed back stating that the grid reference coordinates are not within those known for this species and would require further verification before it can be accepted. The irony is that if the recorder is a known one, the association/s that deal/s with adding records to data bases accepted it even if no picture is supplied as proof, to me that is like there is one rule for them and one for the others, a bit like class distinction, (sorry no pun intended). What I think should happen is the feedback for such a record should be something along the lines of, “Well done, that is a first for that site/location”, other wise the not known bit could be perceived to be that one is lying, or you have the wrong ID. I could go on for there are all manner of anomalies that need addressing, one example before I move on, misinformation. Yep, and I can hear folk saying, “He’s to pedantic”, I don’t think so, for in this example relating to Pscoptera, which often overall is referred to as “Booklouse”, well that is only half true in as much that you also have “Barklouse”, or “Barkfly”, which is as far as I am aware is far more abundant than the former. Probably not important to a layman, but an aspiring entomologist I am sure it would be, maybe?

*’s One will see where I am coming from re my issues. Check the distribution map at the site in the link here against the NBN map, they totally contradict  eachother, I rest my  case, (for now).

Note, I am not an academic, I am an experience amateur, specialising in entomology, of which Hemiptera, Coleoptera,  and to some degree Diptera.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Legs and Feet

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Author: Mick Talbot

Besotted with nature in all its wondrous formats.

3 thoughts on “Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Legs and Feet”

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