Year of publication
- 2011 (1) (remove)
- Notes on the biology of the unidentified invasive harvestman Leiobunum sp. (Arachnida: Opiliones) (2011)
- Since about the year 2000 an unidentified, introduced harvestman of the genus Leiobunum has been rapidly invading Europe. The published records are from the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A population of Leiobunum sp. in the Netherlands was studied frequently during the day and night. Its life cycle, hunting strategy, diet and accompanying harvestman species were recorded, and mating, male-male fights and ovipositing behaviour studied, as well as the spider species preying on this Leiobunum species. Food items were collected, indicating that its food consists of a wide range of live as well as dead invertebrates including spent spider prey scavenged for at ground level. Vegetable matter like berries, as well as bird droppings were also consumed. The mating strategy is very complex. A male guards an egg depositing female and he defends her against other advancing males, resulting in male-male fights. The guarding male frequently mates. Also courtship behaviour has been observed, including nuptial feeding with a fluid, probably originating from the accessory penal glands and delivered by the male into the female’s stomotheca via sacs located on the distal part of the penis truncus. Eggs are deposited in holes and crevices of walls.