Sisyphus by Titian (Late Renaissance)

In a moment of deprivation of common sense, Kury decided to compile a catalogue of the World harvestmen. Given that 98-99% of the relevant literature is already available, the task is not so impossible as it seems.

Progress reportEdit

Kury is parsing all systematic literature on Opiliones looking for nomenclatural acts and species records. The major problem is to sift the text of ancient authors and try to extract nomenclatural acts from the haystack.

  • Chapter 1. Introduction = pages 3 to 22
  • Chapter 2. Taxonomic catalogue of Opiliones = pages 23 to
    • 2.1. Other animals misidentified as Opiliones = pages 23 to 29
    • 2.2. Order Opiliones Sundevall 1833
      • SUBORDER † Tetrophthalmi Garwood et al., 2014 = pages 31 to 31
      • SUBORDER Cyphophthalmi Simon, 1879 = pages 32 to 57
      • SUBORDER Eupnoi Hansen & Sørensen, 1904 = pages 58 to 373
      • SUBORDER Dyspnoi Hansen & Sørensen, 1904 = pages 374 to 483
      • SUBORDER Laniatores Thorell, 1876 = pages 484 to 1267
    • Chapter 3. References = pages 1268 to 1456
    • Chapter 4. List of species of world Opiliones by locality = pages 1457 to 1570

Features of the catalogueEdit

A full record of all nomenclatural acts involving Opiliones.

Changes compared to Kury's 2003 Laniatores catalogue:

1) Under "species heading:

TYPE DATA = information of type lots is given correlating specimens with localities in a more direct way, expliciting locs of paratypes.

RECORDS = each locality in the literature with the author, up to date with modern denominations. Interpolations clearly marked with square brackets.

DISTRIBUTION = a summary of the distribution emphasizing geographic regions, not merely a list of countries.

2) Under "genus" heading:

ETYMOLOGY = Information on origin of generic names with indication of grammatical gender.

PLACEMENT = Historical taxonomic placement of each genus tracked. Excellent to provide background of different classifications over time.

Homonyms are checked for. A standalone catalogue of homonyms is also planned.

3) Bibliography:

An exhaustive taxonomic bibliography is provided arranged in chronological order and linked to OmniPaper for PDFs of the works.

Unabbreviated references are given. Issue dates are thoroughly checked.

Difficulties in parsingEdit

Many times the nomenclatural acts are deeply buried amidst the text, making their discovery not a trivial task. In the adjacent figure an example is given of the creation of the genus Dasylobus in a footnote. Simon (1878)[1] created this new genus even with a proper designation of type species, although this may not be obvious at a first glance.
Dasylobus secret creation

Part of Simon (1878), containing the creation of a genus in a footnote.


  1. Simon, E. (1878) Descriptions d'Opiliones (faucheurs) nouveaux de la faune circa-Méditerranéenne. Annales de la Société de Belgique, Bruxelles, 21 (Comptes-Rendus): ccxv-ccxxiv [Roman pp. in different section of volume from Arabic pp.].

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