NATURE KNOWLEDGE: Daddy Long Legs

There are so many urban legends that are told and never corrected. One in particular is about what many Americans call a Daddy-Long Legs.

First , the correct term for these “creepy crawlies” is Harvestmen. Many people call assorted insects Daddy-Long Legs too, just because they notice long legs.

No they are not all male either but I haven’t a clue how to tell their gender.

These creatures are arachnids but are NOT spiders. (Consider how many kinds of birds there are…they are not all raptors though. There are many sub sets. I’ll discuss species,phylum, etc. another time.)

Harvestmen have only a couple of eyes on little stems…Spiders, most often have eight eyes.

Harvestmen only have one body segment…spiders have two. (Insects have three body segments, therefore, Spiders and Harvestmen are not insects.)

Most spiders have venom and produce silk…Harvestmen have no venom or silk. One of the most widely believed legends about Harvestmen is that they do have extremely toxic venom but cannot bite a person because their fangs are too small.  NOT TRUE.

Harvestmen live in the ground and have no webs. The lovely couple that I captured (above) is either in a fight or a mating embrace. I haven’t a clue which? Many mating rituals in the animal world resemble fights to people.

Funnel Weaver Spider (notice body has two sections)

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8 thoughts on “NATURE KNOWLEDGE: Daddy Long Legs

  1. Thanks for a very informative post. I see these all the time, and I never knew that they were called “harvestmen”, nor did I realize that they weren’t spiders.

  2. Your posts inspired me to pay more attention to the bugs when I was puttering in the garden today.

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