Thursday, October 13, 2016

What do you mean Daddy Long Legs are not spiders?!?

Daddy Long Legs are not spiders.
Daddy Long Legs lack venom glands, so their bite doesn't have "the most powerful venom, but their fangs are too short to penetrate your skin".
Did I just destroy everything you ever believed about them? Well, let me explain.
Think about the word Arachnid as an umbrella. All 100,000+ named arachnids share common basic traits: they are invertebrates (no backbone), and have 8 legs that are jointed.
But, then they are divided into groups: Scorpions, Spiders (Pholcidae), Harvestmen aka Daddy Long Legs (Opilione), Ticks, Mites, and Solifuges.
So, if we just compare Spiders to Daddy Long Legs (DLL), this is what we find. Spiders have 2 distinct body parts: head (cephalon), and an abdomen (thorax). With DLL their 2 parts are fused into one.
Spiders have 8 eyes. DLL have 2.
Spiders make silk, and have spinnerets, DLL don't.
Spiders have venom glands, DLL don't.
Spiders catch and eat prey. DLL mainly eat decomposing matter.
Here's where it can get a little messy. The term 'Daddy Long Legs' is so well known, that it is sometimes used to describe some spiders that also have unusually long legs. For example, the ones that you might find in your house that live up along the corners of your ceiling. Some people refer to those as DLL, but they are really a type of cellar spider, or cobweb spider.
There are currently over 6,500 species of DLL (Opilione) with more continually being discovered!
Remember to 'like' and 'share' the love of nature!

Daddy Long Legs. Notice the jointed legs, and single body part that is pill shaped.

Jumping spiders are usually very tiny (1/4").

This is a crab spider. Easy to see how it got that name.

Jumping spiders have great patterns, and personality.

Marbled Orb Weaver

One of my favorite Far Side cartoons

Daddy Long Legs

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