Currently viewing the category: "Opiliones and Harvestmen"
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SO CALIFORNIAN SPIDER
May 2, 2010
We came across this spider, hiking Hollenbeck Canyon, in Jamul, CA. I have not seen it on any of of many hikes. Can you identify it? My husband, the Eagle Scout, claims it’s some sort of a stink-spider?? I can’t find it in photos, anywhere. … thanks!
Sharon
Jamul, CA

Harvestman with Mites

Hi Sharon,
This is not a spider, but rather, a member of the order Opiliones, known as Harvestmen or Daddy Long Legs.  We are intrigued by your husband’s name “Stink Spider” and we have our own recollection of Harvestmen releasing a foul odor.  When we researched that idea, we found the CritterZone website which states:  “When disturbed, they emit a foul odor from their scent glands. To would be predators, this is a clear warning that harvestmen taste terrible.
”  Unlike spiders, Harvestmen do not have venom, and many species are scavengers that feed on dead invertebrates and decaying fruits and vegetables, though other species use their crushing mouthparts to feed on invertebrate prey.  The red spots are Parasitic Mites, probably in the genus Leptus and according to BugGuide: “The larvae are generalist parasites of terrestrial arthropods. A number of species in this genus are described as parasites of North American harvestmen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Afghan Opiliones
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!
C. Helm
Kunar Province, Afghanistan

Harvestman

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.

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Strange, spider/crab-like insect. Poisonous?
January 30, 2010
Many of them appear late at night on hills near our beaches. A long time ago a doctor told me it was an assasin bug that transmits the Chaga’s Disease, but after looking up some pictures of the actual bug, I’ve had my doubts. What is it? Is it poisonous or harmless?
Adelie Penguin
South America

Harvestman

Dear Adelie,
South America is a large continent.  This is a harmless Harvestman in the order Opiliones.  They are Arachnids and despite the resemblance to spiders which have venom, Harvestmen are perfectly harmless as they have no venom.  Harvestmen are also known as Daddy Long Legs.

Harvestman

Phew, thank goodness. I have no reason to fear it anymore. If you need more details regarding its geographical location, it was found specifically in Chile, Valparaiso region. This one sure is different from other Daddy Long Legs, though. I mean, I’ve seen pictures of them before but none showed one with a body as big as this one’s. Well, we learn new things everyday, I guess!
Again, thank you very much.

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Small black spider, huge pedipalps
January 19, 2010
Hello. I’ve been going crazy trying to figure out what type of spider this is. I’ve seen two inside my house and one outside. Most notable are the pedipalps (at least I think they’re pedipalps — I’m no expert) that are actually longer than the rest of the spider’s body. Also, it walked very robotically and slow instead of the typical spider “scurry.” It had four pairs of legs.
I wish my photos were better. Both spiders I was able to photograph were already dead. The first photo is a profile view of the spider. The last one is a top view. Thanks for your time.
Lisa
Cascade foothills of Washington State

Harvestman

Hi Lisa,
We have had a few misidentifications in the past few days, so the possibility exists that we may not be correct. We don’t believe this is a spider, but rather a Harvestman in the suborder Laniatores.  There are some photos on BugGuide that look similar, but alas, your photos don’t  show some of the details we would like to see.

Harvestman

Hi, Daniel,
Thanks so much for responding — and so quickly at that!  After some internet research, I suspected it was some kind of huntsman.  I just got a sweet new camera, so if I see another and can get quality photos, I’ll be sure to submit them.
What’s also interesting is that I’ve seen two tiny pseudoscorpions in my bathroom.
Thanks again!
Lisa

Comment
January 21, 2010
Hello,
I was looking at the pictures of the arachnid in the “Huntsman, we think” posting and to me it looks a bit more like a whip scorpion or tailless whip scorpion than a huntsman. This could explain the huge pedipalps.
John v.

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Trinidadian night critters …
December 3, 2009
I would like some help identifying ,more specifically ,some of the fascinating creatures that the excellent guides at Asa Wright, Trinidad, showed me last week during a couple of night hikes. The guides went as far as to tell me that these were 1) a scorpion, 2) a whip scorpion, and 3) a harvestman. I’d love to learn a little more about these formidable looking beasts.
Paul Prior
Asa Wright, Trinidad

Bark Scorpion

Bark Scorpion

Dear Paul,
Thanks for sending us your wonderful images of nocturnal Arachnids from Trinidad.  All three of your creatures are in the same Arthropod class, Arachnida, which includes spiders.  The Scorpion might be Centruroides limbatus based on images we found on the Scorpions of Central America and the Caribbean website.
Generally, Scorpions with smaller claws and proportionally larger tails have more lethal venom, and this is the case with the genus Centruroides.  Wikipedia also has a page on this species which is identified as one of the Bark Scorpions.  According to Wikipedia, the venom is not considered dangerous to humans, though the sting is painful.  The overall light coloration and dark markings on the tail and claws or pedipalps help to identify the species.

Tailless Whipscorpion

Tailless Whipscorpions are also nocturnal predators, but they lack venom and are perfectly harmless despite a fierce appearance.  They feed on insects and other arthropods and they move rapidly by scuttling sideways.  You can read more about Tailless Whipscorpions in the order Amblypygi on BugGuide.

Harvestman

The Harvestmen in the order Opiliones are also without venom, and they are scavengers rather than predators, feeding upon dead insects and arthropods.  Harvestmen are also called Daddy Long Legs.  You may also read more about Harvestmen on BugGuide.  Sadly, we do not have the necessary skills to identify the Tailless Whipscorpion or the Harvestman beyond the level of order.

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Harvestman caught in mid-molt?
July 15, 2009
Came across this sight on the side of a tree today, I wish these photos were clearer! The white/clear legs on the bottom caught my eye and I believe this daddy long legs is in the middle of molting. I found other similar photos on the site, thought you’d like a few more.
Kyle C.
Hatfield, MA

Harvestman:  Molting? or Fungus?

Harvestman: Molting? or Fungus?

Hi Kyle,
About a week ago, we posted a very similar image, and Eric Eaton thought the Harvestman was attacked by fungus.  Your photo inclines us to believe that this might actually be a photo of molting, and that the other photo is molting as well.
It seems there are too many legs visible for this to be a fungus attack.

Harvestman:  Molting? or Fungus?

Harvestman: Molting? or Fungus?

Update:  from Eric Eaton
I agree that THIS one looks like it is molting.  I’ll stand by my answer to the last one, too:-)
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination