Slovak Arachnological Society

Opiliones (harvestmen)


Araneae  •  Opiliones  •  Pseudoscorpiones  •  Palpigradi  •  Schizomida  •  Acari

checklist bibliography

Harvestmen (Opiliones) are ludicrous arachnids with two eyes perched on a small body, often bizarre in form, and supported by legs too long for convenience and somewhat insecurely attached. However, some opilionids are bandy-legged, chunky and squat, with shortish legs and raptorial palps. Opilionids have no silk glands, and no venom glands, but possess odoriferous glands to repel predators (Beccaloni 2009). This group constitutes the fourth largest order of the arachnids, with almost 6500 described species (Kury 2017). They are widely dispersed all over the world, including even the frigid regions of the sub-arctic and sub-antarctic. The order Opiliones includes four suborders: Cyphophthalmi, Eupnoi, Dyspnoi, and Laniatores. So far, in Slovakia were found 35 species from all four suborders.

Cyphopthalmi creative commons Marshal Hedin

Eupnoi creative commons Bruce Martin

Dyspnoi © Slavomír Stašiov

Laniatores © melvynyeo

arachnida research in Slovakia

The first data about harvestmen in Slovakia can be found in 1873, when Sørennsen (1873) mentioned occurence of Nemastoma bidentatum in the vicinity of Bardejov (eastern Slovakia).
The first systematic investigation of Slovak opiliofauna was performed by Czech arachnologists. Kratochvíl (1934) presented the first critical account of harvestmen from the former Czechoslovakia. He was the first who paid serious attention to the Slovak fauna. In 1956, Vladimír Šilhavý published a thorough manual of the harvestmen "Fauna of Czechoslovakia – Harvestmen", with a general introductory part (Šilhavý 1956). This manual contains detailed description of 64 species (opilionids occuring and also species expected in the Czech Republic and Slovakia).
Since 1993, the new generation of  Slovak researches begun to publish (Ivan Mihál, Boris Astaloš, Peter Mašán, Slavomír Stašiov, Peter Maršalek). Stašiov (2004a) summarized informations about occurence and ecological requirements of harvestmen in Slovakia in his monography "Opiliones of Slovakia".
Bibliography about Slovak Opiliones counts 230 papers (including 25 unpublished theses).

Fauna ČSR 1956

arachnida books


Slavomír Stašiov (2004):
Kosce (Opiliones) Slovenska. [Harvestmen of Slovakia]

Paperback | February 2004 | ISBN: 80-228-1318-4 | 118 pages | Publisher: Technická univerzita vo Zvolene | 33 maps.

This work summarises all information about distribution and chosen ecological characteristics of Slovak harvestmen (Opiliones), available from the literature or other sources to the end of 2003. In total, the occurence of 32 species from 7 families was proved in Slovakia up to now. For individual species, the number list of the corresponding localities, the map of the known occurence in Slovakia, the zoogeographical characteristic and a short characteristic of ecological requirements to environment (preferred habitats, relationship to the altitudes and exposures, and the names of the most frequent accompanying species) were included. The harvestmen communities of the humid deciduous and mixed forests have the highest species diversity of all the indigenous harvestmen communities.

arachnida exteral links

Aracnologia go to


Opiliones Wiki
Dutch harvestmen
Spinnen Forum
Encyclopedia of Life
Tree Of Life web project

Česká arachnologická společnost
Fauna Italia
Australian Faunal Directory

SARASEditors: Slavomír Stašiov & Peter Fenďa
Last updated: 27th August 2020
version 1.3.   Creative Commons