Document Type

Honors Project On-Campus Access Only


Cyphophthalmi, commonly known as mite harvestmen, are a globally-distributed lineage of small arachnids that inhabit leaf-litter habitats. Austropurcellia Juberthie 1988 is a genus of mite harvestmen known from numerous localities in Eastern Australia, with its distribution centered in the Wet Tropics. I present fourteen new species of Austropurcellia from new field collections and museum lots; each new species is known from only a single to a few collections and few specimens. The new species greatly expand the range of the genus to almost the entire east coast of Queensland and clarify a cryptic species complex in the vicinity of Daintree National Park in the far north. I present a new distribution map of the genus and discuss the importance of the Burdekin Gap and Black Mountain Corridor to its current distribution. In addition, I integrate morphological data with currently available phylogenetic data to present as complete a picture of the genus distribution and variation between species as possible. We have reached a solid understanding of the biogeography and morphological variation of mite harvestmen in Queensland based on currently known samples, but that understanding would be greatly augmented with the addition of more genetic data from many of these new species and additional sampling in southeastern Australia, extending throughout Queensland but also into New South Wales.



© Copyright is owned by author of this document