Gonyleptid Harvestman

January 28, 2010 | Caraça Natural Park, Minas Gerais, Brazil

This image of a harvestman in the family Gonyleptidae is one of my favorites from my trip to Caraça Natural Park.

As a kid, I cherished my Golden Guide to Spiders and Their Kin. Ever since I saw an illustration therein of a wild looking Gonyleptid, I’ve wanted to find one. I got excited early in the trip when I found a shed skin. On the last night, I was out with my headlamp and I encountered not just one but two!

They were both difficult to photograph. Although slow moving, they just wouldn’t stand still. I had to keep herding them back onto the trail. Eventually, this one stopped in an area that made for a relatively uncluttered background.

Gonyleptids include the largest of the harvestmen and are only found in South and Central America.

Here’s a wider shot showing the whole thing.

References:

Wikipedia entry for Gonyleptidae

Spiders and Their Kin
by Herbert W. Levi and Lorna R. Levi
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