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C. F. de Mello-Leitão
Mello-Leitao sepia cropped
Mello-Leitão, from family album.




Brazil, Campina Grande, PB

Life Span


Publication Span


Cândido Firmino de Mello-Leitão was the founder of Arachnology in South America, developing study of species of Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador. He may be regarded as a minor Brazilian counterpart to Roewer, although not extending his influence to the whole world fauna as the latter.

Notable contributions[]

Mello-Leitão among other things made a manual of Brazilian Opiliones (1932)[1]. He was the first to recognize the Podoctidae in the present sense (M-L 1938).
He erected some well-known family-group names such as Bourguyiinae Mello-Leitão, 1923 and Goniosomatinae Mello-Leitão, 1935.
This author created a great number of species and genera now in synonym, mainly from South America. But he is also the author of numerous well-established genera such as Acanthogonyleptes Mello-Leitão, 1922, Liogonyleptoides Mello-Leitão, 1925, Discocyrtoides Mello-Leitão, 1923, Camarana Mello-Leitão, 1935 and Spinopilar Mello-Leitão, 1940.

Mello-Leitão proposed nome names in morphological terminology, such as mesotergum.

Unique etymologies[]

Mello-Leitão often emulated Roewer's style in creating names, but sometimes he came up with more creative names derived from the literature (Pinocchio Mello-Leitão 1940) or biology of the group (Cryptogeobius Mello-Leitão, 1935).


  1. Mello-Leitão, C.F. de (1932b) Opiliões do Brasil. Revista do Museu Paulista, São Paulo, 17(2), 1–505, 61 pls.

External resources[]

OmniPaper Article on Mello-Leitão, including opilio-publication list and other goodies! [1]