Tree of Life

Healthy Home Gardening
Daddy Longlegs

Type: Arachnid

Effect: Helper

Location / Where this Creature is found:

Global except Antarctica
Photgraph taken in the front yard in a pot of Lantanas


These arachnids are known for their exceptionally long walking legs, compared to body size, although there are also short-legged species. The difference between harvestmen and spiders is that in harvestmen the two main body sections (the abdomen with ten segments and cephalothorax, or prosoma and opisthosoma) are broadly joined, so that they appear to be one oval structure; they also have no venom or silk glands. In more advanced species, the first five abdominal segments are often fused into a dorsal shield called the scutum, which is normally fused with the carapace. Sometimes this shield is only present in males. The two most posterior abdominal segments can be reduced or separated in the middle on the surface to form two plates lying next to each other. The second pair of legs are longer than the others and work as antennae. This can be hard to see in short-legged species.

The feeding apparatus (stomotheca) differs from other arachnids in that ingestion is not restricted to liquid, but chunks of food can be taken in. The stomotheca is formed by extensions from the pedipalps and the first pair of legs.

General information about Daddy Longlegs :

They have the nickname harvester because they are omnivores that harvest most insects and plants that cross their path. As for their eating habits, adults usually hide during the day and begin foraging at twilight. They're generally carnivorous, feeding on live invertebrate prey; including aphids, caterpillars, leafhoppers, beetle larvae, mites, and small slugs. Some species prefer to dine on dead animals or juices from plants, fruits and veggies.
An urban legend claims that the harvestman is the most venomous animal in the world, but possesses fangs too short or a mouth too round and small to bite a human and therefore is not dangerous (the same myth applies to the cellar spider and cranefly, which are both also called a 'daddy longlegs'). This is untrue on several counts. None of the known species have venom glands; their chelicerae are not hollowed fangs but grasping claws that are typically very small and definitely not strong enough to break human skin. This myth is so pervasive that it was debunked by two popular television shows, MythBusters and "Bill Nye The Science Guy".
Harvestmen are very old arachnids. Fossils from the Devonian, 400 million years ago, already show characteristics like tracheae and sexual organs, proving that the group has lived on land since that time. They are probably closely related to the scorpions, pseudoscorpions and solifuges; these four orders form the clade Dromopoda. The Opiliones have remained almost unchanged morphologically over a long period.

Daddy Longlegs - YouTube.com

Daddy Longlegs

Comment: Daddy Longlegs

Page Posts: 1

June 03, 2010
I've never seen one this color, out here they are all grey brown. I was just telling a friend the other day about this urban legend. It's amazing how these myths can spread.

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