Monday, October 26, 2009

Nature Guide: Daddy Longlegs

Daddy Longlegs like this one are often mistaken for spiders, but they come from a different order of arachnids, the Opiliones, known as harvestmen. Our Nature Guide Jon Latimer tells us about them.

"Unlike spiders, harvestmen are harmless and have no venom glands. They also have no silk glands and are unable to spin a web. Harvestmen usually hunt at night, feeding on insects and other small creatures such as slugs, snails and earthworms. Harvestmen lay only one batch of eggs each year. Adult harvestmen die when the weather gets too cold, but their eggs can survive through winter and hatch in spring. Harvestmen are most commonly seen in late summer and fall, during harvest, which may account for their name."