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Taracus Simon 1879

Axel Schönhofer
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Containing group: Sabaconidae


Taracus are medium sized to large bodied harvestmen with peculiar elongated chelicerae. Male genital morphology is simple and chelicerae seem not to exhibit glandular structures as in other Dyspnoi-groups. They differ from morphologically similar, but unrelated, animals with large chelicerae by the form of the male genitalia and the composition of the sternal region. The distribution is mainly in western North American, especially along the Coast associating humid forests but also in the Rocky Mountains and other high altitude ranges as far south as Arizona and New Mexico (Shear 1986). A single species has been described from Siberia, Russia (Ljovushkin 1972).

Taxonomy and Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

Many descriptions lack explicit type localities and some are likely to be based upon juvenile specimens. Most species need to be redescribed, no phylogenetic concept exists within the genus; therefore, a revision is overdue.

Ecology and Life History

Taracus species inhabit cold and permanently humid environments, mainly in dense forests, but are recorded from caves as well. Specimens from forests seem to mature in late autumn.


Ljovushkin, S. I. 1972. Biospeologica Sovietica XLIII(43). Report on the first finding of the American genus Taracus Simon (Opiliones, Ischyropsalididae) in Asia with a description of T. birsteini sp. n. from a cave of the southern part of the Primorsky kraj. Bjulleten' Moskovskogo Obscestva Ispytatelej Prirody, Otdel biologiceskij 76(3):127-133.

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.

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Taracus 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 Taracus 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. Taracus Simon 1879. Version 08 July 2012 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Taracus/60689/2012.07.08 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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