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Ischyropsalidoidea Simon 1879

Axel Schönhofer
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taxon links [up-->] Ischyropsalididae [up-->]Ceratolasmatidae [up-->]Sabaconidae [down<--]Dyspnoi Interpreting the tree
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Containing group: Dyspnoi


Ischyropsalidoidea is defined as group of Dyspnoi with a penis operated by a single muscle (Martens 1976, Martens et al. 1981). They lack clavate hairs on the palps, the ovipositor is short, secondarily unsegmented, with an undivided furca (Martens 1976) and a common channel for cement glands (Martens et al. 1981). Some members possess metapeltidial sensory cones (Shear 1986) that have an unknown function. Further characters are hard to establish for the high morphological divergence of the included taxa. Many characters used in older approaches appear plesiomorphic or convergent (Gruber 2007).

Taxonomy and Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

Ischyropsalidoidea has been proposed as family since Simon (1879) and was redefined as superfamily by Martens (1976) and Martens et al. (1981). It is accepted as monophyletic, supported by molecular analyses (e.g. Giribet et al. 2010) and morphology (Shear 1986, Gruber 2007). The Ischyropsalidoidea include very heterogeneous taxa hard to place in a morphology based phylogenetic framework. The cladistic analysis by Shear (1986) organized them within three accepted families but the arrangement of genera was questioned by Giribet et al. (2010) based on molecular results, combining both approaches does not clarify the position of all genera.

Ecology and Life History

General trends within Ischyropsalididae show preference to permanently wet and cool to cold habitats. This preference has led to a respective number of cave inhabiting species and alpine endemics, while true troglobionts, lacking eyes, are rare. Most species show a distinct phenology of adults being present only during a short time of the year, mostly from summer to late autumn, but cave species can occur year round.


Giribet, G., Vogt, L. Pérez-González, A., Sharma, P. and A. B. Kury. 2010. A multilocus approach to harvestman (Arachnida: Opiliones) phylogeny with emphasis on biogeography and the systematics of Laniatores. Cladistics 26:408-437.

Gruber, J. 2007. Dyspnoi - Historical systematic synopsis. In: Pinto-da-Rocha, R., Machado, G., & Giribet, G. (eds.), Harvestmen: the biology of Opiliones. Harvard University Press, Cambridge:131-135.

Martens, J. 1976. Genitalmorphologie, System und Phylogenie der Weberknechte (Arachnida: Opiliones). Entomologica Germanica 3(1/2):51-68.

Martens, J., Hoheisel, U. and M. Götze 1981. Vergleichende Anatomie der Legeröhren der Opiliones als Beitrag zur Phylogenie der Ordnung (Arachnida). Zoologische Jahrbücher, Abteilung für Anatomie und Ontogenie der Tiere 105(1):13-76.

Shear, W. A. 1986. A cladistic analysis of the opilionid superfamily Ischyropsalidoidea, with descriptions of the new family Ceratolasmatidae, the new genus Acuclavella, and four new species. American Museum Novitates 2844:1-29.

Simon, E. 1879. Contenant les ordres des Chernetes, Scorpiones et Opiliones. Les Arachnides de France 7:1-332.

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Ischyropsalis lithoclasica
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Identified By Axel Schoenhofer
Sex f
Life Cycle Stage adult
Copyright © 2011 Axel Schönhofer
Scientific Name Sabacon sp
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Identified By Axel Sch?nhofer
Life Cycle Stage juvenile
Copyright © 2011 Axel Schönhofer
About This Page
Many thanks to Angela DiDomenico for the final English check.

Axel Schönhofer
San Diego States University, San Diego, California, USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Axel Schönhofer at

Page: Tree of Life Ischyropsalidoidea Simon 1879. Authored by Axel Schönhofer . The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Schönhofer , Axel. 2012. Ischyropsalidoidea Simon 1879. Version 08 July 2012 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Ischyropsalidoidea/60680/2012.07.08 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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