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Old 30th December 2017, 05:25 PM   #416370  /  #931
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The Opiliones /oʊˌpɪliˈoʊniːz or /ɒˌpɪliˈoʊnɛz (formerly Phalangida) are an order of arachnids colloquially known as harvestmen, harvesters or daddy longlegs. As of April 2017, over 6,650 species of harvestmen have been discovered worldwide,[1] although the total number of extant species may exceed 10,000.[2] The order Opiliones includes five suborders: Cyphophthalmi, Eupnoi, Dyspnoi, Laniatores, and the recently named Tetrophthalmi.[3]

They swallow solid food rather than sucking liquids, and the male has a penis.

They have an interesting variety of behaviours. For example:

Although parthenogenetic species do occur, most harvestmen reproduce sexually. Mating involves direct copulation, rather than the deposition of a spermatophore. The males of some species offer a secretion (nuptial gift) from their chelicerae to the female before copulation. Sometimes, the male guards the female after copulation, and in many species, the males defend territories. In some species, males also exhibit post-copulatory behavior in which the male specifically seeks out and shakes the female's sensory leg. This is believed to entice the female into mating a second time.[11]
The females lay eggs from an ovipositor shortly after mating to several months later. Some species build nests for this purpose. A unique feature of harvestmen is that in some species, the male is solely responsible for guarding the eggs resulting from multiple partners, often against egg-eating females, and subjecting the eggs to regular cleaning. Depending on circumstances such as temperature, the eggs may hatch at any time after the first 20 days, up to about half a year after being laid.
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