Southern Marsh Orchids

Southern Marsh Orchids

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Odiellus spinosus

Odiellus spinosus is Britain's largest harvestman.  The body of females can be up to 11mm long, although there are smaller-bodied species with much longer legs.  The specimen in the photo below was in my garden a few days ago.
Odiellus spinosus

Close-up of the trident

It is quite a distinctive species (for a harvestman!); the best pointers for id are the overall size, the sharply truncated saddle (the darker band running along the dorsal surface of the body), presence of the spiny armature and most distinctively the prominent forward pointing trident on the anterior of the body.

The distribution of O spinosus is strongly skewed to the SE of England.  I am aware of other recent records in Glamorgan, so it may be expanding its range.  It would be interesting to hear if readers of this blog find new records of this relatively distinctive species in Glamorgan.

Source: Spider Recording Scheme/British Arachnological Society (2012) Website and on-line database facility


  1. You just beat me to that post Adam - I had O spinosus new for the garden last week but haven't downloaded the photos yet. I also saw several in Cathays, Cardiff a few weeks ago. It seems to be a harvestman which is on the increase (along with Dicranopalpus ramosus and Opilio canestrinii).


    1. Sorry about that George! I do vaguely remember you mentioning it now that I think about it! I will post the possible Oligolophus hanseni to Greg tomorrow, it will be interesting to see if I have the id right on that one...