Biodiversity & Evolution

Arachnids » Poassa limbata

Mud-nest harvestman

The males of this species (Poassa limbata) of harvestmen build mud nests where the females visit, mate and deposit eggs while the males remain near the nest guarding the eggs from predators and deadly fungus!

5 responses

  1. Andres Rojas

    Hello! Is it possible to know where was this picture taken?

    July 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    • Hello Andres! This specimen was found at Quebrada Gonzalez, Braulio Carrillo National Park, Costa Rica (approximately 400 – 500 m elevation). I located three nests at this site, but they were difficult to find and it seems that they were quite uncommon. This site may represent the lower elevation limit for this species. I can say that the species range does not extend to the lower elevation forests at La Selva Biological Station. I have also observed this species at Las Brisas Nature Reserve, near Turrialba, Costa Rica (800 – 1000 m elevation). Nests were much more common at Las Brisas. The species seems to be restricted to higher elevations. The type specimen for Poassa limbata was collected from Volcan Poas (but the description does not give an exact location or elevation). Based on these collection records it appears that it is distributed across the northern and eastern slopes of these mountains. I hope this is helpful! Let me know if I can be of more assistance. I have collected some other data on this species but I haven’t had a chance to publish it yet. Are you working with this species?

      July 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm

      • Andres Rojas

        Hi Dan! Yes I am working on describing the reproductive behavior of this species, along with other aspects of it’s natura history. I have found in Veragua Rainforest (aobut to 400m), close to Limon, Thank you for that information, if you want to know more please write me at andresrova@gmail.com.

        November 22, 2012 at 1:57 am

  2. Hi Daniel and Andres! I’ve studied the Panamanian species Zygopachylus albomarginis during my PhD and I am interested in conducting some research with those harvestmen from Costa Rica, since their behavior seem to be the same. I looked online but I couldn’t find any published paper about their behavior of even describing the fact that males also build the mud-nests. Have I missed anything?

    August 15, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    • Hey Gustavo,
      You should definitely get in touch with Andres, as he is also studying some of the nest building behavior for this species and he presented some work at the Latin American Congress in Mexico last month. Although I documented this behavior through my photographs, I never actually published any works to describe the behavior. So there is no published account of nest building for Poassa limbata (unless Andres has a paper in review or in press). Good luck with the work!

      August 19, 2014 at 11:01 am

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