Members of the British Arachnological Society’s Harvestman Recording Scheme (HRS) were so impressed with the quality of Hay Wijnhoven’s De Nederlandse Hooiwagens (Opiliones) that it was felt an English translation was highly desirable. This would greatly enhance the available literature for identifying these most interesting creatures in Britain and also aid the detection of future introductions from the continent.
After discussions with the author and the British Arachnological Society (BAS), the organisation under which the HRS operates, it was agreed to seek a grant from The Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) to fund a translation. This was successfully achieved by Mike Davidson whose hard work is much appreciated. With the OPAL grant and funding from the BAS the task of translation and editing was shared by Hay Wijnhoven, Jinze Noordijk (the current coordinator of the Opiliones study group of EIS-Netherlands) and myself. Thanks also to Geoff Oxford and Helen Smith for support and proof reading.
The cost of producing an English version as an independent publication was considered to be too expensive so it has been designed as a supplement to the Dutch publication. All diagrams, photographs and bibliography are referenced directly to the original. The object being that the original must be purchased and that the supplement is made available to those requiring it in English.
It would be interesting to compare our findings in Britain with those described in this publication, and to this end I would very much welcome feedback. Of particular importance is to ascertain how quickly introduced species adapt to their new conditions, how fast they spread and to what extent, if any, they interact with our native species.
I hope this is a successful venture, not only in broadening our knowledge of harvestmen and the sharing of this with our Dutch colleagues, but also in stimulating renewed interest in the ecology and distributions of species in Britain. Many thanks go to the author, EIS-Netherlands, OPAL and the BAS for their support in bringing this project to fruition.
Peter Nicholson Harvestmen Recording Scheme Organiser October 2014