April 25, 2010
Hope this finds you well. Here is a photo of a member of the Opiliones I snapped in the Kunar province of Afghanistan. It was checking out the latrine and shower facilities right after the weather started turning warm again, on 11 March 2010. It was very much alive and well, and would only pose for the camera after being gently tapped on the head. After the photo shoot, it scurried away about its business again. I found it very interesting because of the difference in its legs. Almost looks like a Popeye version of our Daddy Longlegs back home. I saw a critter later in the season farther north, shorter legs than this one but otherwise very smiliar. I don’t know Opiliones well at all, so can’t say if it was an example of sexual dimorphism, a juvenile, or simply a separate species altogether. At any rate, hope you and the readers enjoy!
Kunar Province, Afghanistan
Dear C. Helm,
Harvestmen or Daddy Long Legs, as the members of the order Opiliones are commonly called, are harmless as they have no venom despite their resemblance to spiders. You can read more about the Opiliones from North America on BugGuide. Thanks for sending us your great photo and wonderfully worded description of your encounter.