The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

Harvestmen genitalia



Quick facts

Project title: 
Evolution and function of harvestmen genitalia
ZFMK Project lead: 
Object of research: 


Genitalia are often more complex than necessary for sperm transfer and sperm storage which is attributed to sexual selection and/or conflicts between the sexes. To understand the driving forces on the evolution of genitalia, studies are required that unravel not only the morphology of the structures involved but also their interplay. To this aim, we investigate mating behavior, genital morphology as well as interactions of male and female genitalia in three of the four suborders of harvestmen: Dyspnoi, Eupnoi and Laniatores. Harvestmen are a very interesting group for the study of genital evolution due to the great variability of male and female genital morphology among species. We investigate functional genital morphology using histology and X-Ray microtomography of cryo-fixed pairs.


Contact person

+49 228 9122-360
+49 228 9122-212
rmwerneck [at]