1 April 2000 Diet Composition and Significance of Earthworms as Food of Harvestmen (Arachnida: Opiliones)
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We gathered dietary data for several harvestman species in a soybean field and adjacent hedgerow habitats to assess the extent of their polyphagy. A total of 1032 harvestmen, predominantly Leiobunum spp., were observed during almost 50 search hours over two seasons. More harvestmen and increased foraging activity were observed in the hedgerow than in the soybean field, and in both habitats harvestmen were more active at night. Earthworms (Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae) were the prey items most frequently recorded as being consumed by all observed harvestman species in both habitats (47.1%), while fruit and other plant material constituted 18.1% of the records. Feeding trials conducted with female harvestmen, Hadrobunus maculosus (Wood), revealed that these arachnids were not capable of subduing live earthworms, suggesting that consumption of these in the field might be limited to scavenging. Implications of harvestman foraging for local food web dynamics are discussed.

JURAJ HALAJ and ALAN B. CADY "Diet Composition and Significance of Earthworms as Food of Harvestmen (Arachnida: Opiliones)," The American Midland Naturalist 143(2), 487-491, (1 April 2000). https://doi.org/10.1674/0003-0031(2000)143[0487:DCASOE]2.0.CO;2
Accepted: 1 August 1999; Published: 1 April 2000
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