Banksula melones, photographed by William R. Elliott.

Belongs within: Phalangodidae.

Banksula is a genus of harvestmen found in the Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges of California. The various species of the Sierra Nevada are all found in caves; the single species known from the Coast Ranges, Banksula incredula, is also the only known epigean species.

Characters (from Ubick & Briggs 2002): Colour of body yellowish to orange; appendages white to yellowish white. Body length 1.5-3.0 mm. Body covered with tubercles. Scute with eyemound low and rounded to high and conical; cornea and retina present or absent. Anterior margin of scute with 0 to a few pairs of small anterior tubercles; ozopores lateral. Palpal megaspines: femur with one to two mesodistal and three to four ectobasal; patella with two mesal and one ectal; tibia with three mesal and three ectal; tarsus with two mesal and two ectal. Palp with dorsal row of setiferous tubercles on femur and smaller tubercles dorsally on other segments, laterally on femur, and between megaspines; basal megaspine of femur with mesal and ectal tubercles in most species, mesal tubercle absent in most females. Tarsal count 4-6-5-6, in most species, and 4 or 5-7 to 9-5-5 or 6 in B. incredula. Ovipositor surface wrinkled; smooth or covered with microspines; apical teeth present or absent; with 6 pairs of apical and 1 pair of subapical setae; setae slightly curved, apically pointed. Penis with folding glans; stylus short, narrow or wide, with lateral carinae present or absent, surrounded by 1 pair of parastylar lobes; ventral plate bifurcate, with 1 pair of apical spines, 7-12 pairs of long setae and up to 12 pairs of short setae.

Banksula Roewer 1949
    |--*B. californica (Banks 1900) [=Phalangodes californica, Scotolemon californica]
    |--B. galilei Briggs 1974
    |--B. grahami Briggs 1974 [incl. B. elliotti Briggs & Ubick 1981]
    |--B. grubbsi Briggs & Ubick 1981
    |--B. incredula Ubick & Briggs 2002
    |--B. martinorum Briggs & Ubick 1981
    |--B. melones Briggs 1974
    |--B. rudolphi Briggs & Ubick 1981
    |--B. tuolumne Briggs 1974
    `--B. tutankhamen Ubick & Briggs 2002

*Type species of generic name indicated


Ubick, D., & T. S. Briggs. 2002. The harvestman family Phalangodidae 4. A review of the genus Banksula (Opiliones, Laniatores). Journal of Arachnology 30 (2): 435-451.

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