Currently viewing the category: "Opiliones and Harvestmen"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What the heck is this?
I love your website. I have learned SO much while searching for this beetle/spider/tick looking thing. I took pictures the best I could. I’m sorry if they aren’t as clear as they could be. This little guy was determined to get back under the rock. We live in Arkansas, up on top of a mountain, and it is very rocky up here. My husband was clearing some of the bigger rocks out of the back yard when he found one of these yesterday. He didn’t get back to it in time to take a picture so he went back out there today and was able to find another. He was approximately 1 1/2" total, legs and all. His body looks like a tick with no visible head that we could find. It appears to have eyes up on top of the front of his body. I could even make out a smiley face when I looked at him upside down 🙂 Yes, I have spent WAY too much time looking at the pictures of this thing. I have scoured your website trying to find what he/she is but haven’t found him yet. Can someone please help me identify it? I know you are extremely busy so thank you so much for any help that you might be able to give us. Thank you for the awesome resource you are providing!
Damon & Kristi Whitener
P.S. We didn’t kill him 🙂

Hi Damon and Kristi,
This is a harmless Harvestman. We believe we have found a match on BugGuide. It looks to us like Vonones ornata. You should submit your photos to BugGuide as they have not received any reports from Arkansas, though images of this genus have been submitted from surrounding states.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what in the???
Yikes! My boyfriend’s friend lives in Brazil and found this walking around his apartment. I love the tropics, but I am glad I don’t have spiders like this just "drop by" unannounced.
Lisa Hemesath
Portland, OR

Hi Lisa,
This is a harmless Harvestman in the order Opiliones. In the U.S. Harvestmen are known as Daddy-Long-Legs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

spider help?
I’m hoping you can help me idenfity this spider. I have seen many of them outside my home, thankfully none have made it inside. It’s probably about 2 inches at longest leg to leg and has what looks like fangs. Are they dangerous? I am panicked about black widows and brown recluse. I live in eastern San Diego county where it gets quite warm. Thanks!

Hi Audrey,
This is a Crab Clawed Harvestman in the family Sabaconidae, and probably the genus Taracus. We located it on BugGuide. Harvestmen are also called Daddy Long Legs and they are harmless.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I found this in my garden, I live in the Falkland Islands, South Atlantic and these have not been seen before. There was 2 of them under a piece of wood (dry) which was at the bottom of a pile. The rear is the two hairy looking legs. It is dark and reddish brown in color. The body is about the size of a dime, 4 front legs. No wings. The other one was quite a bit smaller. Thanks for your help,

Hi Pauline,
This is a Harvestman in the order Opiliones. We recently got an email from someone more familiar with this order, and we will contact Rod Crawford to see if he can confirm or deny or provide any additional information.

There are only 2 harvestmen recorded from the Falkland Islands: Haversia defensa (Butler) and Hoggellula vallentini (Hogg) both in the family Gonyleptidae. Your photo does indeed look like a gonyleptid but is not high-res enough to have any diagnostic features. I have on hand a drawing of H. defensa showing the hind legs less stout than in the photo, so by elimination it might be considered to be H. vallentini (of which I can find no illustration without making a special trip to the library) – but I don’t really stand by the accuracy of ID by elimination! from your friendly neighborhood harvestmanman,
Rod Crawford, Burke Museum, Seattle, USA

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

A really charming Mystery "Bug"
A care package of spiffy treats!!! (organic jams, delightful whole leaf teas, etc.)… …to whoever can relieve me of my obsessive and unsuccessful search for the identification of the delightful leggity being I photographed on a piece of Doug-fir firewood last spring. Attached. I named the photos "red spider boyee" as a mnemonic, not sure it is a spider. Is it a whipscorpion? Reminds me of the general vinegaroon body plan…and has that delightful flat lapstrake butt. It was under the tarp, dazed by the early morning light, and very shy. Nocturnal behavior. Also it was on the woodpile on our patio, which is frequently accessed. So must have come in the night. I took the photo then covered it back up. The growth rings on this Doug-fir chunk are maybe 2 mm each (red and yellow, each) so we’re talking about an overall bodylength of not much more than a centimeter. CUTE. I looked and looked and looked, normally able to find anything on the World Wide Web. But no luck. … I am writing from just outside Olympia, WA, in the rapidly suburbanizing wooded hinterlands of Pugetopolis. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.
Michele Gale-Sinex
Olympia, WA

Hi Michelle,
This is a Harvestman in the order Opiliones, which contains the Daddy Long Legs. This particular Harvestman is in the suborder Laniatores. There are several photos on BugGuide from Oregon, but none from Washington. Using their raptorial pedipalps, Laniatores prey on small invertebrates. Are you really sending us a care package???

Update: Michelle received this more thorough reply shortly after our response
Dear Michele,
Your specimen is definitely a harvestman (arachnid order Phalangida or Opiliones) of the suborder Laniatores. It is a fine example of why arachnologists never use the term “daddy-longlegs”! The most likely species for you to have there is Sclerobunus nondimorphicus of the family Triaenonychidae. However, there is a remote chance of finding one of the old-growth obligate species of the genus Pentanychus or Isolachus (Pentanychidae). All these species look pretty much the same in top view, and in fact, dissection is needed for definitive ID. Harvestmen are chiefly predatory but can scavenge as well. Unlike pseudoscorpions they do not have the chelate, scorpion-like pedipalps. They have no silk or venom. In this particular group of harvestmen the palps are spiny. The two centrally located eyes are another thing that might tell you that it’s a harvestman, as well as the subsegmented leg tarsi. I’m amazed to find very little Sclerobunus info on the internet. However, Wikipedia has a bare bones illustrated article on S.robustus (which does not occur in western Wash.). S. nondimorphicus is so common here I have over 120 vials of them in my collection. The very small amount of published info on this species is in this paper: PS. I’d welcome any caffeinated tea. Don’t use much jam. 🙂
Rod Crawford, Burke Museum, Seattle, USA

Dear Daniel–
I’m so excited!! I have a photo and letter published on WTB! This is better than the times my ex got two letters published in the Archie McPhee catalog, or when my husband showed the Dalai Lama his 3D tattoo! Opiliones! We LOVE those guys. I can see it now with your identification. The two eyes on top–duh. Rod Crawford at the Burke Museum (U. of WA Seattle), and Pugeopolis’s spider expert, also replied … You put in a lot of work on this site, I’ve read What’s That Bug? for years, it is one of my favorite-ever Web sites. If I had to give up all Web sites but one, I’d cry while surrendering /The Onion/…but I’d do it, for What’s That Bug? … But we still have a universe to learn about bugs. You do more for the evolution of the human spirit and mind than most churches. Wait, that’s not saying much. OK, never mind the comparison. You encourage people to evolve compassion and connection. You encourage respect and appreciation for our ancestors and neighbors. I love the site’s vilification of savagery against arthropods, and its the tone of affection and respect for these creatures, and affirmation of their beauty and importance. I love the way you lay it on the line around the stupidity of killing beneficial insects, and our need to face our silly fears and grow past them. I love the way you encourage the heretical belief, based on empirical evidence, that Nature Bats Last.
So of COURSE you get a care package. So–where are you? Strawberry, raspberry, apricot, citrus marmalade, or mixed berry? For tea–green? oolong? black? pu-erh? Need steeping instructions? How many of you ARE there? Iowa’s a big state. I know that, because we’re expatriate Cheezers. Peace

Ed. Note: We replied to this wonderful letter offline, but for the record, the offices of What’s That Bug? are in Los Angeles.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bug identification
I was on a trip in Baja, and there were hundreds of these on the ground. I am a leader in an outdoor program and I would like to know what exactly these are for future reference. The attached picture shows a medium sized one (about an inch and a half long, excluding the longest leg). This particular one is missing a leg; there is normally one long leg on both sides. They did appear to have fangs, so at first glance they looked like spiders. However, they had no web, and were in large groups, so I’m not sure what exactly they are. Thanks!
Jason Payne

Hi Jason,
Your creature is known as a Harvestman in the order Opiliones. Harvestmen are sometimes called Daddy Long Legs and they are relatives of spiders that are scavengers.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination