Evolutionary biology of harvestmen (arachnida, opiliones)


Giribet, G., and P. P. Sharma. 2015. “Evolutionary biology of harvestmen (arachnida, opiliones).” Annu Rev Entomol 60: 157-75.

Date Published:

Jan 7


Opiliones are one of the largest arachnid orders, with more than 6,500 species in 50 families. Many of these families have been erected or reorganized in the last few years since the publication of The Biology of Opiliones. Recent years have also seen an explosion in phylogenetic work on Opiliones, as well as in studies using Opiliones as test cases to address biogeographic and evolutionary questions more broadly. Accelerated activity in the study of Opiliones evolution has been facilitated by the discovery of several key fossils, including the oldest known Opiliones fossil, which represents a new, extinct suborder. Study of the group's biology has also benefited from rapid accrual of genomic resources, particularly with respect to transcriptomes and functional genetic tools. The rapid emergence and utility of Phalangium opilio as a model for evolutionary developmental biology of arthropods serve as demonstrative evidence of a new area of study in Opiliones biology, made possible through transcriptomic data.


Giribet, GonzaloSharma, Prashant PengResearch Support, Non-U.S. Gov't2014/10/24 06:00Annu Rev Entomol. 2015 Jan 7;60:157-75. doi: 10.1146/annurev-ento-010814-021028. Epub 2014 Oct 9.

Last updated on 12/23/2015