Print

Daddy Long Legs

Daddy long legs are spider like creatures with long thread-like legs. Species belonging to this order are distinguishable from spiders due to the fact their body regions appear to be whole solid areas, as opposed to a divided abdomen and carapace – the carapace is the part of a spider that resembles a head. They are sometimes confused with cellar spiders due to their similar appearance. Sightings increase during the fall and variations of the species are found all over North and South America. Their true name is harvestmen and they do not bite, contrary to popular belief.

Daddy Long Legs Identification

Daddy long legs are named after their long broad legs. The front legs double as antennae and are able to detect certain scents – they are particularly useful for navigation as well, given the fact that their eyes are unable to form concrete images. It's believed that some species breath through spiracles located on their legs. In size, their body is about 1/5th of an inch, or about the size of an M&M candy. The body is shaped liked a small oval and capable of producing a foul smelling odor to ward off predators like birds. Their bodies are not capable of producing silk or webbing. As a defensive mechanism, some harvestmen are capable of detaching their legs. The nerves in the leg will continue to fire and twitch, providing a distraction so the harvestmen may escape. These legs will not grow back.

Behavior & Facts

Many people are surprised to find that daddy long legs are not spiders – in fact, they belong to a different order all together. Spiders belong to the order Araneae, while harvestmen (daddy long legs, grand daddy longlegs) belong to the order Opiliones. They are omnivorous arachnids that feed on fungus and other insects. They are most active in the night and late afternoon.

Daddy Long Legs Bite

There is a common myth that the daddy long legs has the most poisonous bite, but has fangs that are too small to penetrate skin. Truth is, the daddy long legs have no venom gland, which means they are incapable of producing a venomous bite. Daddy long legs do not have a penetrative bite and are not poisonous. In the event that you think you've been bitten by a harvestmen, it was most likely just a pinch from their chelicerae (jaw like appendages).

Print