5 days, 27 sites, 100s of Harvestmen!


left to right: Shahan Derkarbetian, Kristen Emata, Erika Garcia, Molly Hedin, Marshal Hedin, Jim Starrett

Just back from a Springbreak collecting trip with a crew from SDSU and UC Riverside.  We traveled to the western foothills of the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, starting in Tuolumne County, and ultimately winding (literally!!) our way down to Kern County. We were mostly after Laniatores harvestmen, particularly members of the phalangodid genus CalicinaCalicina is a truly remarkable genus, with many species, most of which are short-range endemic taxa.  Almost all of these species were described by Darrell Ubick & Tom Briggs, researchers from the California Academy of Sciences. Below is a screenshot from the Ubick & Briggs revision showing microendemism observed in the Sierras.  Similar patterns are found in the Coast Ranges!!


from FIG 19, Ubick & Briggs, 1989. The harvestmen family Phalangodidae. 1. The new genus Calicina, with notes on Sitalcina (Opiliones: Laniatores). Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 46(4): 95-136.

Kristen Emata, a MS student in the Hedin lab, is interested in the evolutionary and biogeographic history of Calicina, and aims to tackle these questions from a molecular phylogenetic perspective.  Our collections of fresh samples from this recent fieldwork will help greatly in this endeavor.


Calicina from near Pine Flat Reservoir, Fresno County

In addition to Calicina, we found other nice CA endemic harvestmen, like Megacina and Enigmina.  Of course, many other excellent Californian taxa were encountered.  For some reason, I have a special place in my heart for diplurans.  Maybe because many of these species are also low-dispersal, short-range endemics.  🙂

About marshalhedin

University Professor, teaching college students about biological diversity & evolution, conducting original research in the realm of arachnid systematics
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2 Responses to 5 days, 27 sites, 100s of Harvestmen!

  1. Robin says:

    I have a special place in my heart for diplurans too! Maybe we’re soul mates 🙂

  2. Jennifer says:

    I heard some wonderful stories from a lovely young lady about this trip! And yes, I think you are sould mates.

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