Here is the comment received on Bugguide for this Harvestmen (Leiobunum).
“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.” Kathie Hodge
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Created: 2012-03-12 23:48:41 CST (-0500)
Last modified: 2012-03-12 23:50:58 CST (-0500)
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