Patrones Zoogeográficos de Los Opiliones Argentinos (ArachnidA: Opiliones)

Luis E. Acosta

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This paper provides new data and an updated interpretation of the distribution patterns of Argentinian harvestmen, discussing and correcting the validity of previously accepted opiliological areas. Arguments supporting the division of the central-northeastern sector into five areas (Mesopotamic, Pampasic, Chacoan, Central Sierras and Yungas) are presented, each area being characterized through its typical or predominant taxa. The Yungas area is defined as an opiliogeographic unit, principally through the high diversity of the genus Pachyloides (Gonyleptidae). The probable meaning of several relics found in protected sites within the arid west region is discussed. The available evidence on harvest men distribution, which suggests possible past expansions and retractions of humid environments, is analysed. A comparative table detailing the species richness in each area and familiar / subfamiliar taxon is also included.