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Harvestmen - Leiobunum

Harvestmen - Leiobunum
Cross Plains, Dane County, Wisconsin, USA
June 12, 2010
I came across this Harvestman which was covered with this goo. Is this some kind of fungus or slime infection?

Images of this individual: tag all
Harvestmen - Leiobunum Harvestmen - Leiobunum

Moved from Harvestmen.

Pandora phalangicida
Oh wow! This is likely to be a fungus called Pandora phalangicida, although we'd need a microscope to be sure. It is a deadly pathogen of harvestmen (and women), and grows nowhere else. I've only ever collected it as a dead husk.
The fungus is at its peak maturity in your photos--it has killed its host by colonizing and eating most of the internal tissues, and is bursting back out through the cuticle to produce its spores. The spores form a glassy layer over the body and leg joints, then each spore is separately shot off (you can see the spore deposit on the leaf in the photo I linked). Presumably it only takes one spore to infect a new harvestman. Nice find!
I'd love to see a dried specimen if anyone finds this...

Joe Warfel says "Best guess for opilionid is Leiobunum sp." Thanks Joe!

Pandora phalangicida
The Harvestman was still alive (just barely) when I took this photo. The legs were already gray but it was still able to move its legs a bit.

still alive!
Wow, amazing that it was still alive. Bwa ha ha ha!

Looks like a fungus to me
You might see if you can find anything similar here.

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