Arachnids of North Carolina
Scientific Name: Common Name: Family (Alpha):
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View Phalangodidae Members: NC Records

Erebomaster acanthinus (Crosby & Bishop 1924) - No Common Name

Order: OPILIONESSuborder: LaniatoresSuperfamily: TravunioideaFamily: Phalangodidae                                                                                 
Comments: One of two species in this genus, both of which occur in the East (Kury, 2003) but with only acanthinus recorded in North Carolina. Placed in the Travnuiidae by Kury (2002), which includes Theromaster but not Bishopella, which is retained within the Phalangodidae.
Species Comment: The holotype was collected along Walnut Creek in Raleigh (Crosby and Bishop, 1924)
Online Description/Photos: BugGuide Images, iNaturalist, Wikipedia, GBIFTechnical Description: Crosby and Bishop (1924); Briggs (1969)
Comments: A minute Armored Harvestman. The body is yellowish to reddish-orange, mottled with reddish brown (Crosby and Bishop, 1924; Briggs, 1969). The tergites are banded with brown posteriorly. Theromaster brunnea is similar in size and shape but is darker brown and differs in several structural features; their ranges also do not appear to overlap in North Carolina.
Total Length: 1.69 mm, male (Briggs, 1969)Adult ID: identifiable by photo
Structural Features: The abdominal scute is marked dorsally with shallow grooves, unlike Theromaster brunnea, whose scute is smooth. The palps are heavily spined, as in Theromaster, but the tergites lack the tubercles found in that species; the legs are generally smoother; and the males lack the projections on the chelicerae.
Distribution in North Carolina
Comments: All of our records come from the Piedmont
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Adult phenology:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Most records appear to come from moist leaf litter collected in riparian forests
Observation Methods: Best found by sifting leaf litter or through use of Berlese funnels
Abundance/Frequency: Usually recorded as single individuals but with repeated captures at some sites (e.g., Duke Forest)
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: [GNR] [S3S5]
State Protection: Arachnids are not protected under state law, although permits are needed to collect them in State Parks and other public and private nature preserves
Comments: We currently have few records for this species but that is probably due to the specialized techniques needed to find it. Although it appears to be somewhat specialized in terms of its habitats, they do not appear to be restrictive.

Photo Gallery for Erebomaster acanthinus

Recorded by: Carol Tingley
Alexander Co.
Recorded by: Carol Tingley
Durham Co.
Recorded by: Carol Tingley
Harnett Co.
Comment: leaf litter
Recorded by: Carol Tingley
Harnett Co.
Comment: leaf litter
Recorded by: Carol Tingley
Chatham Co.
Comment: Collected from moss, litter, and duff