A multilocus approach to harvestman (Arachnida: Opiliones) phylogeny with emphasis on biogeography and the systematics of Laniatores

Gonzalo Giribet
Lars Vogt
Abel Pérez González

Please visit https://digitalcommons.usf.edu/kip_articles/3466 to view this article.


The internal phylogeny of the arachnid order Opiliones is investigated by including molecular data from five molecular markers for ca. 140 species totalling 43 families of Opiliones. The phylogenetic analyses consisted of a direct optimization (DO) approach using POY v. 4 and sophisticated tree search algorithms as well as a static alignment analysed under maximum likelihood. The four Opiliones suborders were well‐supported clades, but subordinal relationships did not receive support in the DO analysis, with the exception of the monophyly of Palpatores (=Eupnoi + Dyspnoi). Maximum‐likelihood analysis strongly supported the traditional relationship of Phalangida and Palpatores: (Cyphophthalmi ((Eupnoi + Dyspnoi) Laniatores)). Relationships within each suborder are well resolved and largely congruent between direct optimization and maximum‐likelihood approaches. Age estimates for the main Opiliones lineages suggest a Carboniferous diversification of Cyphophthalmi, while its sister group, Phalangida, diversified in the Early Devonian. Diversification of all suborders predates the Triassic, and most major lineages predate the Cretaceous. The following taxonomic changes are proposed. Dyspnoi: Hesperonemastoma is transferred to Sabaconidae. Insidiatores: Sclerobunidae stat. nov. is erected as a family for Zuma acuta.