Danilo Harms

Danilo Harms
Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change (LIB) · Section Arachnology & Myriapodology - Department of Invertebrates - Center for Taxonomy and Morphology

Doctor of Philosophy

About

76
Publications
43,385
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447
Citations
Introduction
I'm leading the arachnid lab at the Leibnitz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change in Hamburg and provide research avenues for young arachnophiles and senior researchers. I also curate the arachnid and myriapod collections at the Zoological Museum in Hamburg. I have a broad interest in arachnid and myriapod biodiversity, systematics, taxonomy and conservation. I'm also interested in collection management and promoting museum science in the broader community.
Additional affiliations
May 2016 - June 2021
Center of Natural History (CeNak)
Position
  • Head of Department
Description
  • I'm leading the Department of Arachnology at the Center of Natural History in Hamburg, Germany. I'm also curating the collections of arachnids, myriapods and stem-group arthropods at the Zoological Museum Hamburg.
June 2014 - April 2016
Bennelongia Environmental Consultants
Position
  • Principal Zoologist
April 2009 - May 2014
University of Western Australia
Position
  • PhD - Evolutionary Biology
Description
  • Research in Invertebrate Systematics, Phylogeography and Conservation Biology
Education
March 2009 - May 2014
University of Western Australia
Field of study
  • Evolutionary Biology
March 2007 - January 2009
May 2005 - February 2007

Publications

Publications (76)
Article
Full-text available
Rainforest canopies, home to one of the most complex and diverse terrestrial arthropod communities, are threatened by conversion of rainforest into agricultural production systems. However, little is known about how predatory arthropod communities respond to such conversion. To address this, we compared canopy spider (Araneae) communities from lowl...
Article
The tropical forests of the Western Ghats (WG) of India are considered ‘refugia’ harbouring highly diverse and endemic taxa but these refugia are under immense anthropogenic pressure. Most phylogenetic studies have explained diversity patterns across the WG using vertebrates, however, the processes impacting the highly endemic invertebrate fauna ar...
Article
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Pseudoscorpions are an ancient and globally distributed lineage of arachnids with more than 4000 species. Despite being present in virtually all terrestrial habitats, their morphology and anatomy has rarely been studied to date, which hampers homology statements both within and between other arachnid orders. All pseudoscorpions share a morphologica...
Article
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The pseudoscorpion (Arachnida: Pseudoscorpiones) fauna of mainland Ecuador, excluding the Galápagos Islands, is poorly known, with only 41 described species in 9 families. The family Syarinidae has a pantropical distribution and presently comprises ca 120 species in 17 valid genera that are found in leaf litter and subterranean habitats, mostly in...
Article
Short-tailed whipscorpions are a small arachnid order with 379 described species from (sub)tropical regions of the world. The order has a fragmentary fossil record but has left a rich, albeit hitherto undocumented, fossil legacy in mid-Cretaceous amber from Myanmar, also called Burmese amber or Burmite. Here, we review a large series of schizomids...
Article
The World Arachnida Catalog (WAC, online at https://wac.nmbe.ch) is introduced as an amalgamation of the highly successful World Spider Catalog (WSC), the Pseudoscorpions of the World Catalog, and the Smaller Arachnid Order Catalogs. The new catalogs present all available taxonomic information on eight arachnid orders (Amblypygi, Araneae, Pseudosco...
Article
An adult male Hersiliidae spider is described from amber that originates from the Upper Cretaceous (Santonian) Ajka Coal Formation (Ajka-Csingervölgy, Hungary), the so-called ajkaite. The spider has elongate posterior spinnerets and a short third pair of legs III, both characteristics of the family, but differs from all known Mesozoic (discovered i...
Article
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Mouse spiders (genus Missulena Walckenaer, 1805) are a lineage of trapdoor spiders with males of many species having a brightly coloured red cephalic region, an abdomen that is tinged metallic blue, and the habit of wandering during the day in search of a mate. A total of 17 species of Missulena have been described in Australia to date but most des...
Article
Pseudoscorpions have a sparse fossil record although they are among the oldest terrestrial lineages with origins that go back to the Devonian (ca. 385 Ma). Amongst the 25 extant families of pseudoscorpions, only 14 are known from fossils, most of which are preserved in European ambers from the Eocene. Burmese amber from the Cenomanian (mid-Cretaceo...
Article
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Indonesia's biodiversity is at risk due to large forest areas being transformed into rubber and oil palm monoculture plantations. The effects of this land-use change on local fauna have been studied in a variety of organisms, including invertebrates from leaf litter and soil habitats. Litter and soil organisms are important drivers of essential eco...
Article
Dipluridae represent a small Mygalomorphae family of South American origin, the family includes two subfamilies Diplurinae and Masteriinae although the placement of the latter in Dipluridae is still under debate. The family has a predominantly South American distribution although the genus Masteria L. Koch, 1873 presents an interesting distribution...
Article
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Pseudoscorpions belong to the oldest terrestrial lineages with origins in the Devonian (ca. 385 Ma) but their fossil record is extremely sparse and little is known about their diversification over time. Here, we describe the first fossil species of the pseudoscorpion family Pseudotyrannochthoniidae that resemble the Devonian fossils in major detail...
Article
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Zootaxa published more than a thousand papers on Araneae from 2002 to the present, including descriptions of 3,833 new spider species and 177 new genera. Here we summarise the key contributions of Zootaxa to our current knowledge of global spider diversity. We provide a historical account of the researchers that have actively participated as editor...
Article
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Centipedes (Myriapoda: Chilopoda) are carnivorous arthropods that live in leaf litter and soil habitats on all continents except Antarctica. Roughly 3,300 species have been described to date but the taxonomy is still progressing and requires a thorough documentation of type material and type deposits. In this paper we provide an annotated catalogue...
Article
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Pseudoscorpions are amongst the oldest terrestrial lineages but there is a major gap in the fossil record between the oldest fossils from the Devonian (ca. 385 million years ago) and rich fossil communities in amber that mostly originate from the Eocene of Europe. Burmese/Myanmar amber (or Burmite) from the middle Cretaceous preserves a diverse com...
Article
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The Feaellidae Ellingsen, 1906 is a small but ancient family of pseudoscorpions with 20 extant species across the Southern Hemisphere, and fossils from the Lower Cretaceous of Myanmar and the Eocoene of Europe. Here, we describe and illustrate Feaella (Tetrafeaella) obscura sp. nov. as a new species from the Maldives archipelago in the Indian Ocean...
Article
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Few spider species show truly cosmopolitan distributions. Among them is the banded garden spider Argiope trifasciata that is reported from six continents across major climatic gradients and geographical boundaries. In orbweb spiders, such global distributions may be a result of lively dispersal via ballooning. However, wide distributions may also b...
Article
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Recently, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) has sent around a letter, dated 21st April, 2020 to more than 300 palaeontological journals, signed by the President, Vice President and a former President of the society (Rayfield et al. 2020). The signatories of this letter request significant changes to the common practices in palaeontology....
Article
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Cylindrical silk gland (CY) spigots distinguish a large clade of modern spiders, the CY spigot clade, which includes all entelegyne spiders and their closest relatives. Following a widespread paradigm, CYs and their spigots are only known to occur in female spiders and they produce silk used in the construction of egg sacs. Here we report the occur...
Article
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Deforestation and land-use change in tropical regions result in habitat loss and extinction of species that are unable to adapt. The effects of tropical land-use change on ground spiders, a major group of invertebrate predators, are poorly known. With two methods, we showed >50% decline in spider density, species richness, functional diversity, and...
Article
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Amber from the Bitterfeld area in Germany is a significant source of paleobiological data for the Paleogene of central Europe. Rich invertebrate communities have been preserved in this amber but most species remain to be documented and described. In this study, we provide the rst inventory of the pseudoscorpion fauna from Bitterfeld amber. All avai...
Article
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Deforestation and land‐use change in tropical regions result in habitat loss and extinction of species that are unable to adapt to the conditions in agricultural landscapes. If the associated loss of functional diversity is not compensated by species colonizing the converted habitats, extinctions might be followed by a reduction or loss of ecosyste...
Article
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Scorpions have always inspired fear and fascination because of the potency of their venoms. Although this ancient arachnid group is relatively small (ca. 2400 species) and has been continuously studied for the past century, the taxonomy is still in a state of flux and the correct identification of species often remains difficult. With more than 725...
Article
Arachnids are an ancient lineage of arthropods and orders such as scorpions, harvestmen and mites have their fossil origins in the Silurian or Devonian. Another order with potentially old origins is the short-tailed whipscorpions, or schizomids (Arachnida: Schizomida). These animals have a fragmentary fossil record with species either described or...
Article
The south-western division of Australia is the only biodiversity hotspot in Australia and is well-known for extreme levels of local endemism. Climate change has been identified as a key threat for flora and fauna, but very few data are presently available to evaluate its impact on invertebrate fauna. Here, we derive a molecular phylogeography for p...
Article
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The Australian fauna of Jumping spiders (family Salticidae) is highly diverse and includes iconic lineages such as the peacock spiders (genus Maratus Karsch, 1878) that are well-known for their vibrant colours and fascinating behaviours. Many other jumping spiders in Australia are also highly attractive but almost nothing is known about their diver...
Article
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Four new species of armoured spiders from Sumatra, Indonesia are described. Three species are described in the genus Ablemma Roewer, 1963 and one species in the genus Brignoliella Shear, 1978; Ablemma andriana sp. n., (male), Ablemma contrita sp. n., (male and female), Ablemma kelinci sp. n., (male) and Brignoliella patmae sp. n., (male and female)...
Article
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Three species from the family Oonopidae are newly described from leaf litter habitats in Sumatra, Indonesia based on male and female morphology. All three species belong to the genus Aposphragisma Thoma, 2014: Aposphragisma globosum sp. n., Aposphragisma jambi sp. n., and Aposphragisma sumatra sp. n.
Article
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The morphological identification and proper delineation of subterranean fauna species has challenged taxonomists for decades. Here, we investigate the suitability of quantitative methods of recognizing species in a subterranean radiation of short-tailed whipscorpions (Arachnida: Schizomida: Hubbardiidae) in a small part of the Hamersley Range in th...
Article
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The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) commits its 196 nation parties to conserve biological diversity, use its components sustainably, and share fairly and equitably the benefits from the utilization of genetic resources. The last of these objectives was further codified in the Convention's Nagoya Protocol (NP), which came into effect in 201...
Article
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The fauna of whip spiders (Amblypygi) in Western Africa is poorly known but probably diverse. Here, I describe the new species Charinuskakumsp. n. based on female morphology, and accompanied by DNA sequence data. The species is small and differs from other African species of Charinus in the low number of pseudosegments on leg IV, female genital fea...
Article
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Bitterfeld amber, sometimes referred to as Saxon or Saxonian amber, is a potentially significant but poorly known source of arthropod data for the Palaeogene of northern Europe. An important aspect is a long-standing controversy about the age of this amber: namely whether it is equivalent to, and perhaps merely a southerly extension of, the better-...
Article
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In this paper, we are redescribing type material from the Zoological Museum in Hamburg that was thought to be lost. These specimens were described in 1902 by Eugène Simon from material collected in Southern Patagonia and Fireland but the species were subsequently considered nomina dubia , or simply not considered at all. The rediscovery of this mat...
Article
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Solifuges are an enigmatic and poorly studied group of arachnids. Commonly referred to as camel spiders or sun spiders, these animals are voracious predators of small animals and found in arid biomes of the Old World and the Americas. In this paper, we provide a catalogue for the solifuges (Arachnida: Solifugae) that are held at the Center of Natur...
Article
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Southwestern Australia is one of the global biodiversity hotspots. Like many other hotspots, comparatively few data are available explaining speciation patterns in endemic animal lineages, which hampers conservation efforts and a deeper understanding of how diversity is generated and maintained. I investigated the phylogeographic structure of an an...
Article
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A new species of Mouse Spider (family Actinopodidae Simon, 1892), Missulena hare-woodi, is described from near the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder in the Goldfields region of Western Australia. It differs from all other Missulena species by the unusual light grey colouration of the abdomen in combination with small body size and shiny carapace. A phylog...
Article
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External studies of spider spinning fields allow us to make inferences about internal silk gland biology, including what happens to silk glands when the spider molts. Such studies often focus on adults, but juveniles can provide additional insight on spinning apparatus development and character polarity. Here we document and describe spinning field...
Article
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The historical Godeffroy Collection of spiders at the Centrum für Naturkunde (CeNak) in Hamburg comprises several hundred type specimens from Australia and is an essential source for arachnologists around the world. In this paper, we re-describe and illustrate the Australian Oxyopes material from this collection. Most specimens were collected by C....
Article
Pseudoscorpions are an ancient lineage of arachnids but have a scarce fossil record, presumably because these animals are small (2-8 mm in body length) and live in habitats where they do not fossilize easily. This is particularly the case for one of the more basal lineages, the superfamily Chthonioidea, which are common and diverse in leaf litter h...
Article
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Pseudoscorpions, given their resemblance to scorpions, have attracted human attention since the time of Aristotle, although they are much smaller and lack the sting and elongated tail. These arachnids have a long evolutionary history but their origins and phylogenetic affinities are still being debated. Here, we summarise their fossil record based...
Chapter
The Arachnida, a class of arthropod animals that includes prominent examples such as spiders, ticks and scorpions (Figure 10.1), comprises some of the most successful biological radiations on Earth. The lineage is extremely ancient and has a fossil record that dates back to the Palaeozoic (Dunlop 2010), but it is also highly diverse, with some 114,...
Thesis
I investigated the evolutionary history of pseudoscorpions in the family Pseudotyrannochthoniidae from global to local scales, using molecular sequence data from samples spanning the full spectrum of morphological diversity and geographic distributions. I combined phylogenetic reconstruction, molecular dating, distribution- and environmental niche...
Article
Full-text available
Four new species of the Mouse Spider genus Missulena Walckenaer, 1805 (family Actinopodidae) are described from Western Australia based on morphological features of adult males. Missulena leniae sp. n.(from the Carnarvon and Yalgoo biogeographic regions), Missulena mainae sp. n. (Carnarvon), Missulena melissae sp. n. (Pilbara) and Missulena pinguip...