Sunday, October 19, 2008

Daddy Long Legs

Daddy Long Legs spider that is or at least that's what I've always heard them called.

But she (probably) is not a spider. Another common name is Harvestmen. They are arachnids but not spiders.

Imagine that.

We were down feeding the little kitties (only 2 remain out of 5) the other evening and this wonderful creature was walking around in the same area. Their legs are so thin that you can barely see them. There's not much to the rest of them either.

The official name is Opiliones.

You might ask what's the difference between these guys and a spider. Even if you don't ask I'm going to tell you anyway. Spiders have two parts to their bodies. These guys have one part.

Actually they only have 2 eyes and spiders have 8. It is hard to count eyes when you can't really see the Harestman in the first place. I only knew she was there because of movement.

I read that every 10 days or so they molt. They split open their exoskeleton and a new spider appears. Takes about 20 minutes to get those legs out. I've never seen that nor did I know it happened. Amazing.

Another amazing thing is that there are people who study Harvestmen.


Lori1955 said...

Oh flinty, are there any animals that bother you at all? I killed two black widows in my garage yesterday. I didn't find them interesting at all. I just wanted them dead. ;)

¸.•*´)ღ¸.•*´Chris said...

This beats the heck out of the science classes I had in school. Interesting facts, Flinty!

nancy said...

amazing to think that they molt every 10 days or so. i would love to see them get their legs out!

Joanne said...

Very interesting, Terry. I, too, would love to watch this spindly legged spider split open and stretch those legs. I didn't know they did that until I read your very informative post. I agree with Chris, you would make a wonder science teacher. Mine was boring. ;)