Harvestmen, Opiliones, of the suborder Laniatores are an extremely diverse group of small predatory Arachnids noted for a high level of endemism (i.e. most species have extremely limited ranges). There are currently around 4100 described species, but this is likely to be a severe underestimate, as the group are not well studied and populations of similar Harvestmen at even nearby locations often turn out to be different species. The Family Cosmetidae contains about 700 species of Harvestmen ranging from the southern US to Argentina, being one of the most abundant groups of Harvestmen in the tropical forests of Central and South America.
In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 3 April 2017, Conchita Pinzón-Morales of the Departamento de Biología at the Universidad del Atlántico, Victor Townsend of the Department of Biology at Virginia Wesleyan College and Neis Martínez-Hernández, also of the Departamento de Biología at the Universidad del Atlántico, describe a new species of Cosmetid Harvestman from the Municipality of Manaure Balcón del Cesar in Cesar Departament, Colombia.
The new species is placed in the genus Platymessa, and given the specific name victoriae, in honour of the late María Victoria Pinzón. It is described from 44 specimens, 16 male and 28 females, collected from the Municipality of Manaure Balcón del Cesar in October 2015 and March 2016. Males are more variable in size than the females, ranging from 4.60 to 5.66 mm in length, compared to 4.85-5.45 mm in the females. These are yellowish orange in colour, with white markings.
Platymessa victoriae. (A) Dorsal view (male). (B) Dorsal view (female). (C) Lateral view (male). (D) Ventral view (male). Scale bar: 1mm. Pinzón-Morales et al. (2017).
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