Leggy

OpilionesDaddy-, or Granddaddy-longlegs… but wait a minute. There are only six legs here. The Opiliones order of harvestman are related to spiders and have eight legs. What’s going on? OpilionesIt looks like the first joint to the right of the face is missing a limb, so presumably is the other side. Missing that joint, too, it looks like. This one could still move pretty well, though. There are over 5000 species of these critters in the world, with 235 known in North America (these numbers from Evans, who pictures two of them; so many bugs, so little time!). They aren’t venomous, and don’t have fangs so they don’t bite. The dark nob on top is an eye. As I was getting the lens close, I felt another on my camera hand, smaller bodied and lighter colored. I blew gently on it to get it to reverse course.

2 Responses to “Leggy”


  1. 1 Shirley September 6, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    We have these all over our house in San Francisco and they all have 6 legs. Are they really spiders?

    • 2 mthew September 13, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      All the arachnids have 8 legs. Both Spiders and Harvestmen are in this class, but considered distantly related. The two front legs of Harvestmen can look like antennas. If all your specimens have six legs, they must be some kind of insect…?


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