AAS Australasian Arachnological Society

Danilo Harms

Danilo Harms
Danilo Harms
Research Associate
Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
Museum of Natural History
Dept. of Chelicerata & Myriapoda
D-10099 Berlin
E-Mail: danilo.harms@gmx.de
Please download a pdf-file of my current CV here.

Research Interests

I am in particular interested in the biogeography and systematics of Chelicerata with a particular emphasis on spiders (Araneae) and pseudoscorpions (Pseudoscorpiones). I am also interested in the natural history and higher phylogeny of arthropods. I acknowledge molecular and morphological approaches to evolutionary biology and theory. The study of biodiversity in a rapidly changing environment and climate is of great importance to me and I emphasize the value of taxonomy to assess species richness on a geographical scale.

My current research focuses on araneophagic spiders of the family Mimetidae and combines aspects of systematics, taxonomy, paleontology and biogeography. Future research will focus on pseudoscorpions of the ancient subfamily Pseudotyrannochthoniinae. These "living fossils" are diverse but understudied in Australia and provide an excellent model group for testing biogeographical hypotheses as they occur in Australia as well as in South America, Southern Africa and Sri Lanka and have very limited possibilities to disperse. They are also useful for exploring the issue of short-range endemism in Australia.

Particular Research Projects

  • Phylogeny, biogeography and taxonomy of pirate spiders (Araneae: Mimetidae) of Australasia and Africa
  • Paleontology of pirate spiders (Araneae: Mimetidae)
  • Phylogeny, biogeography and taxonomy of Chthoniidae (Pseudoscorpiones)

Current Collaborators

  • Dr Jason A. Dunlop, Museum für Naturkunde, Humbold Universität Berlin, Germany
  • Dr Mark S. Harvey, Western Australian Museum, Perth, Australia

Academic Education

I have studied Zoology, Molecular Biology, Animal Physiology and Chemistry at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin in Germany, the Freie Universität Berlin and the Technische Universität Berlin. In 2006, I received a research grant through the DAAD (German Academic Exhange Fund) to work on the systematics and phylogeny of Australian pirate spiders (Mimetidae). After a research visit to the Western Australian Museum in Perth, I graduated at the Freie Universität Berlin in 2007 and obtained my M.Sc. with a thesis on this enigmatic and intriguing group of animals. Currently, I am a research fellow at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin and work on the systematics and paleontology of spiders.


  • 2007 – Diplom Biologe (M.Sc. - Biology)
  • 2004 – 2005: Vordiplom (Preliminary Diploma, B.Sc.)


(For copyright reasons, pdf-files of my publications are not available for direct download. Please send me an email if you are interested in a particular publication.)


  • (6.) Harms, D. (submitted). Ateida, a new genus of pirate spiders from Africa, with description of a new species (Arachnida: Araneae: Mimetidae). Zootaxa.
  • (5.) Harms, D. & Harvey, M.S. (submitted). Systematics and phylogeny of the Australian pirate spiders (Araneae: Mimetidae: Australomimetus) with a revision of the Western Australian fauna. Invertebrate Systematics.
  • (4.) Harms, D. & Harvey, M.S. (submitted). A review of the pirate spiders of Tasmania (Arachnida: Mimetidae) with description of a new species. Journal of Arachnology.
  • 3. Harms, D. (in press). Australomimetus kuntneri sp. nov., the first record of a pirate spider from Indonesia (Arachnida: Araneae: Mimetidae). Zoosystematics and Evolution.
  • 2. Dunlop, J.A., Harms, D. & Penney, D. 2008. A fossil tarantula (Araneae: Theraphosidae) from Miocene Chiapas amber, Mexico. Revista Iberica de Aracnolgia 15, 9-17.
  • 2006

  • 1. Harms, D. <2006. Postgraduate Progress Report: Systematics of the Western Australian Pirate Spiders (Arachnida, Mimetidae). Australasian Arachnology.
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reference: AAS – Australasian Arachnological Society
online: http://www.australasian-arachnology.org/arachnologists/harms/
©2005 AAS – date: 2008/12/05

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