Phalangium opilio

Phalangium opilio is "the most widespread species of harvestman in the world", occurring natively in Europe, and much of Asia. The species has been introduced to North America, North Africa and New Zealand.[1] It is found in a wide range of habitats, including meadows, bogs, forests, and various types of anthropogenic habitats, such as gardens, fields, hedgerows, lawns, quarries, green places in built-up areas, walls and bridges.[1]

Phalangium opilio
Phalangium opilio MHNT Male.jpg
Male Phalangium opilio
Scientific classification
P. opilio
Binomial name
Phalangium opilio


Females have a body length of 6–9 mm (1438 in), males are slightly smaller at 4–7 mm (31614 in). Males however have longer legs; the second leg is about 54 mm (2 14 in) in males and 38 mm (1 12 in) in females. Males and females are similarly coloured and marked, although males' markings tend to be less clear. The body has a three-lobed darker "saddle", usually with spots or dashes in the midline. Mitopus morio has a very similar appearance, but P. opilio can be distinguished by the two pale "denticles" (small teeth-like structures) below the anterior margin of the carapace. Males have long forward-pointing "horns" on the second segment of their chelicerae.[2]


  1. ^ a b Tone Novak; Vesna Klokočovnik; Saša Lip ovšek Delakorda; Dušan Devetak; Franc Janželpvoč (2009). "Preferences for different substrates in Phalangium opilio (Opiliones: Phalangiidae) in natural environment" (PDF). Acta Biologica Slovenica. 52 (1): 29–35.
  2. ^ Jones, Dick (1983), The Countrylife Guide to Spiders of Britain and Northern Europe, Feltham, England: Country Life Books (Hamlyn), p. 310, ISBN 978-0-600-35665-3