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Harvestmen (Opiliones)

Harvestmen do look a lot like spiders, but they are actually very different. They have two eyes only and those eyes are located on the front part of the body on some kind of small "hill". Their body consists of just one element and that is a great difference compared to the bodies of insects, spiders and scorpions for instance. Harvestmen cannot make wires or webs, nor are they producing venom. The best known harvestmen have very long legs (that is why they are also known as daddy long legs), but there are species with 'ordinary' legs as well. When threatened harvestmen are able to loose one or more legs. The leg remains on the floor, moving about quickly, thus trying to catch the attackers attention. A harvestman needs only three legs to move about. Even though some harvestmen are carnivores, most will eat almost anything: from freshly caught prey to animals already dead, excretes or plants. Most harvestmen get to be adult in autumn. Their small bodies on long feet are not unlike the carriages used by farmers in the past to bring in hay. That's how they got their name. But they are also known as daddy-long-legs.

photograph Phalangium opilio, male
Common Harvestman, male Phalangium opilio

The Common Harvestman is often seen on walls and in gardens. The male is quite dull, actually.More...

photograph Phalangium opilio, female
Common Harvestman, female Phalangium opilio

The female of the Common Harvestman is dark brown with a striking indented line on both sides. More...

photograph Opilio canestrinii
Red Harvestman Opilio canestrinii

The Red Harvestman strikes the eye by showing a great contrast between the reddish body and the black legs. More...

photograph Rilaena triangularis
Spring Harvestman Rilaena triangularis

The Spring Harvestman usually is the only harvestmen seen in spring and early summer. More...

photograph Fork-palped Harvestman
Fork-palped Harvestman Dicranopalpus ramosus

The Fork-palped Harvestman is unmistakable because of the long legs spread to the sides. And the large forked palps, of course. More...

photograph Oligolophus tridens
Oligolophus tridens

Oligolophus tridens is the most common af the short-legged harvestmen. More...

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This page has last been modified on Sunday, December 11, 2016.
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