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Leiobunum townsendi
Leiobunum townsendi wildcarrot
Leiobunum townsendi, from Coppell, Texas. Photo copyright © Meghan Cassidy, used with permission.

Suborder

Eupnoi

Superfamily

Phalangioidea

Family

Sclerosomatidae

Subfamily

Leiobuninae

Genus

Leiobunum

Leiobunum townsendi Weed, 1893 is a Nearctic species of Sclerosomatidae common in southwestern North America.

Taxonomy[]

  • L.t. Weed, 1893:295[1]

Specimens[]

Diagnosis[]

  • Coloration: (Davis, 1934[2]) "Anterior part of carapace golden-yellow with brown markings in median line and on lateral margins. Eye tubercle pale ventrally, as seen from above dark medially with a light line above each eye. The two transverse ridges behind eye tubercle brown with light spots. Remainder of dorsum light brown with numerous minute and often indistinct light spots. Central marking sub-obsolete. Venter yellow: coxae often with a slight reddish cast. Palpus yellow, distal end of femur, patella tibia and extreme proximal end of tarsus mottled with brown dorsally. Chelicera with first and second segment often marked with white dorsally. Legs: trochanters dark on cephalic and caudal surfaces, mesal and lateral surfaces light, the outer being very nearly concolorous with the coxae. Femora light brown with white bands at apices; these bands accentuated by being preceded by a slightly darkened portion. Patellas dark brown. Tibiae dark brown, apices dark brown preceded by white bands. Metatarsi and tarsi light brown." (Cokendolpher, 1981[3]) "However, most L . townsendi from western New Mexico and Arizona have leg bands which are indistinct or absent."
  • Penis: (Davis, 1934[2]) "3.3 mm. long, alate part .7 mm. long and extending to a point .4 mm. from the distal end. Shaft of penis not at all flattened dorsoventrally but is roughtly circular in cross-section, a slight keel present on dorsal surface. Shaft large proximally constricted about midway and expanded again distally. Alate part much wider than shaft which is compressed to form tip not abruptly as nigripes but gradually. Horizontal portion of tip much broader ventrally than dorsally, upturned part of tip proximally broader than dorsal surface of horizontal part"

Distribution[]

  • MEXICO: Chihuahua; Durango[4]
  • USA: Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah[4]

Notes[]

  • This species is notable for forming extremely dense diurnal aggregations. It has been observed in heterospecific aggregations in Texas alongside Leiobunum flavum and Leiobunum vittatum.[5]

References[]

  1. Weed, Clarence M. (1893c) Notes on Ohio and other Phalangiidae. The American naturalist, New York, NY, 27(315), 294–296.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Davis, Norman W. (1934) A revision of the genus Leiobunum (Opiliones) of the United States. American Midland Naturalist, Notre Dame, Indiana, 15(6): 662-705.
  3. Cokendolpher, J.C. (1982) Comments on some Leiobunum species of the U.S.A. (Opiliones; Palpatores, Leiobunidae). The Journal of Arachnology, 10(1), 89–90. http://www.americanarachnology.org/JoA_free/JoA_v10_n1/JoA_v10_p89.pdf
  4. 4.0 4.1 Cokendolpher, J.C. & Lee, V.F. (1993) Catalogue of the Cyphopalpatores and bibliography of the harvestmen (Arachnida, Opiliones) of Greenland, Canada, U.S.A., and Mexico. Privately Published, Vintage Press, Lubbock, Texas, iii + 82 pp.
  5. Cockerill, J. J. (1988). Notes on Aggregations of Leiobunum (Opiliones) in the Southern U.S.A. The Journal of Arachnology16(1), 123–126. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3705811
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