First cytogenetic study of a member of the harvestman family Pettalidae (Opiliones: Cyphophthalmi)


  • František Šťáhlavský,

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Zoology, Faculty of Sciences, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Sarah L Boyer,

    1. Biology Department, Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Mark S Harvey,

    1. Department of Terrestrial Zoology, Western Australian Museum, Welshpool DC, WA, Australia
    2. Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, USA
    3. California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA, USA
    4. School of Animal Biology, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Gonzalo Giribet

    1. Museum of Comparative Zoology, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author


We present the karyotype of the Australian harvestman Austropurcellia arcticosa (Cantrell, 1980) (Arachnida: Opiliones: Cyphophthalmi: Pettalidae), which represents the first cytogenetic analysis of Opiliones from the Australasian ecozone. The diploid complement comprised 30 chromosomes, as reported earlier for two other species of Cyphophthalmi in the family Sironidae, but with a predominance of biarmed chromosomes in A. arcticosa. Morphologically differentiated sex chromosomes were not observed. The course of meiosis is described in the suborder Cyphophthalmi for the first time.