Female common brown harvestman Phalangium opilio, copyright Didier Descouens.

Belongs within: Phalangiidae.

Phalangium is a genus of harvestmen found in Europe and western Asia, with the species P. opilio also found in North America and introduced to Australasia. A number of the species listed below are nomina dubia dating to early circumscriptions of this genus including a much broader range of species; most are probably not correctly placed. Males of Phalangium typically bear an upright horn at the top of the second cheliceral segment.

Characters (from Snegovaya & Staręga 2009): Body coloration yellowish with distinct brown/blackish saddle. Eye mound relatively high (height=length=width), front and back surface nearly of equal width, deeply furrowed, with distinct denticles on eye rings. Cheliceral 1st segment without modifactions, 2nd with dorsal horn, sometimes thin, sometimes strong and very long, sometimes lacking. Pedipalps lacking apophyses (if any on patella then very short), femur with weak armature mainly on dorsal side, sometimes whole pedipalp leg-like elongate and very thin. Legs mostly long, femora with rows of denticles, 1st pair thicker than the others. Penis with shaft thick, narrowing gradually from the broadened base and subapically with distinct ”spoon”, glans in profile triangular.

<==Phalangium Linnaeus 1758 SS09 [incl. Bactrophalangium Šilhavý 1966 SS09, Cerastoma Koch 1839 C92]
    |--*P. opilio Linnaeus 1758 C92 (see below for synonymy)
    |--P. aegyptiacum Savigny 1816 (n. d.) S84
    |--P. armatum Snegovaya 2005 [incl. P. zuvandicum Snegovaya 2005] SCM18
    |--P. bakuense Snegovaya 2006 SS09
    |--P. clavipus Roewer 1911 SS09
    |--P. copticum Savigny 1816 (n. d.) [=P. qobticum (l. c.)] S84
    |--P. coronatum Fabricius 1779 (n. d.) R23
    |--P. ghissaricum Gricenko 1976 GF11
    |--P. grossipes Müller 1776 (n. d.) R23
    |--P. jakesi (Šilhavý 1966) SS09 [=*Bactrophalangium jakesi C92]
    |--P. kopetdaghensis Tchemeris & Snegovaya 2010 SCM18
    |--P. licenti Schenkel 1953 (n. d.) SS09
    |--P. ligusticum (Roewer 1923) SS09
    |--P. minutum Meade 1861 (n. d.) R23
    |--P. pallidum Müller 1776 (n. d.) R23
    |--P. pareissii Kollar in Roewer 1911 R23
    |--P. punctipes (Koch 1878) CK05 [incl. Egaenus ephippiatus Roewer 1911 S03]
    |--P. pygnogonum Müller 1776 (n. d.) R23
    |--P. riedeli Staręga 1973 K14
    |--P. savignyi Audouin 1826 SS09 [=Cerastoma savignyi R23]
    |--P. staregai Snegovaya 2005 SS09
    |--P. succineum Presl 1822 (n. d.) D07
    |--P. targionii (Canestrini 1871) SS09 [=Opilio targionii R23]
    |--P. venustum Snegovaya 2008 SS09
    `--P. wahrmanni Roewer 1953 SS09

Nomina nuda: Phalangium cruditum Latreille in Roewer 1923 R23
             Phalangium dorsale Kollar in Roewer 1923 R23
             Phalangium morbillosum Kollar in Roewer 1923 R23
             Phalangium muricatum Kollar in Roewer 1923 R23
             Phalangium truncatum Kollar in Roewer 1923 R23

*Phalangium opilio Linnaeus 1758 C92 [incl. Cerastoma aduncum Koch 1870 D03, Opilio angulatichelis Roewer 1952 S03, C. brevicorne Koch 1839 D04, Phalangium brevicorne D04, P. calabrianum Roewer 1956 D04, P. canescens Meade 1855 D04, Cerastoma capricorne Koch 1869 D04, P. cornutum Linné 1767 D04, *C. cornutum C92, Opilio cornutus D04, C. curvicorne Koch 1839 D04, C. dentatum Koch 1872 D04, Phalangium longicorne Simon 1882 D04, P. longipalpus Weed 1890 CH18, Dentizacheus minor Rambla 1966 D04, Opilio molluscus Koch 1867 D04, Cerastoma molluscum D04, Phalangium molluscum D04, Eudasylobus polonicus Roewer 1956 D04, Opilio praefectus Koch 1867 D04, Cerastoma praefectum D04, C. tirolense Koch 1869 D04, Phalangium tirolense D04, Eudasylobus unicolor Roewer 1911 M78]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[CK05] Chemeris, A. N., & N. M. Kovblyuk. 2005. A contribution to the knowledge of the harvestman fauna of the Crimea (Arachnida: Opiliones). Arthropoda Selecta 14 (4): 305–328.

[CH18] Cokendolpher, J. C., & R. G. Holmberg. 2018. Harvestmen of the family Phalangiidae (Arachnida, Opiliones) in the Americas. Special Publications, Museum of Texas Tech University 67: 1–44.

[C92] Crawford, R. L. 1992. Catalogue of the genera and type species of the harvestman superfamily Phalangioidea (Arachnida). Burke Museum Contributions in Anthropology and Natural History 8: 1–60.

[D04] Delfosse, E. 2004. Catalogue préliminaire des Opilions de France métropolitaine (Arachnida Opiliones). Bulletin de Phyllie 20: 34–58.

[D07] Dunlop, J. A. 2007. Paleontology. In: Pinto-da-Rocha, R., G. Machado & G. Giribet (eds) Harvestmen: The Biology of Opiliones pp. 247–265. Harvard University Press: Cambridge (Massachusetts).

[GF11] Gabryś, G., M. Felska, A. Kłosińska, W. Staręga & J. Mąkol. 2011. Harvestmen (Opiliones) as hosts of Parasitengona (Acari: Actinotrichida, Prostigmata) larvae. Journal of Arachnology 39 (2): 349–351.

[K14] Kurt, K. 2014. Redescription of Phalangium riedeli Staręga, 1973 (Opiliones: Phalangiidae) from Turkey with the first description of the female. Entomological News 124 (3): 186–192.

[M78] Martens, J. 1978. Spinnentiere, Arachnida: Weberknechte, Opiliones. Gustav Fischer Verlag: Jena.

[R23] Roewer, C.-F. 1923. Die Weberknechte der Erde: Systematische Bearbeitung der bisher bekannnten Opiliones. Gustav Fischer: Jena.

[SCM18] Snegovaya, N. Y., J. C. Cokendolpher & F. Mozaffarian. 2018. The Opiliones of Iran with a description of a new genus and two new species. Journal of Arachnology 46 (1): 69–80.

[SS09] Snegovaya, N. Y., & W. Staręga. 2009. Taurolaena, a new genus of Phalangiidae (Opiliones). Revista Ibérica de Aracnología 17: 37–44.

[S84] Staręga, W. 1984. Revision der Phalangiidae (Opiliones), III. Die afrikanischen Gattungen der Phalangiinae, nebst Katalog aller afrikanischen Arten der Familie. Annales Zoologici 38 (1): 1–79.

[S03] Staręga, W. 2003. On the identity and synonymies of some Asiatic Opilioninae (Opiliones: Phalangiidae). Acta Arachnologica 52 (2): 91–102.

Last updated: 25 May 2019.

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