Daddy Long Leg Spiritual Meaning: Unveiling the Symbolism

Daddy long legs are fascinating creatures, often associated with spiritual symbolism. As arachnids closely related to the scorpion family, their unique appearance has captured the attention of many cultures throughout history. Although they are not venomous, their long legs and intriguing movements have led to various interpretations of their spiritual significance.

In some beliefs, the daddy long legs represent balance and harmony, as their delicate yet strong legs allow them to navigate their environment with ease. Their resilience and adaptability may serve as a reminder to embrace change and maintain equilibrium in our lives.

Others may view the daddy long legs as a symbol of protection and good luck, with their presence warding off negative energy. In this sense, the spiritual meaning of daddy long legs can be seen as a sign of encouragement, reminding us to face challenges head-on and trust in our abilities to overcome adversity.

Daddy Long Legs: Spiritual Symbols and Meanings

The Spider as a Symbol

In various cultures, the spider holds deep spiritual meaning as it represents creativity, patience, and resilience. Daddy long legs, though not technically spiders, share some similar symbolic meanings as their arachnid counterparts.

Love and Connection

Daddy long legs serve as a symbol of love and connection. Their long legs embody the idea of reaching out to others and forming meaningful bonds. Examples of this can be seen in:

  • Friendships
  • Family relationships
  • Romantic partnerships

Luck and Fortune

In some beliefs, daddy long legs bring luck and fortune. Their presence may indicate:

  • Good luck
  • Success
  • Wealth and prosperity

Wisdom and Trust

Daddy long legs also represent wisdom and trust, as they are seen as guides in our spiritual journeys. Their symbolism includes:

  • Guidance in decision making
  • Developing trust in self and others
  • An increased sense of intuition

Hope and Abundance

Lastly, these creatures symbolize hope and abundance. Their presence might signal the potential for:

  • Growth and development
  • New opportunities
  • Nurturing energies and a sense of hope

By understanding the spiritual symbolism of daddy long legs, we can appreciate the unique messages they bring to our lives. Though small creatures, they carry powerful meaning and can serve as gentle reminders of love, luck, wisdom, and hope.

Daddy Long Legs in Dreams and Folklore

Dream Interpretations

Daddy long legs in dreams often signify different things varying based on individual interpretations. For some, they represent:

  • Protection: Due to their harmless nature, encountering a daddy long legs might be perceived as spiritual protection1.
  • Growth: Their leggy appearance can symbolize personal growth, inner strength, and resilience.

Dreamers might encounter these creatures when facing:

  • Fear of risks and leaps of faith in life
  • Confidence issues in relationships or opportunities

Folklore and Legends

In folklore and legends, daddy long legs possess various spiritual meanings:

  • Transformation: As fast-moving arachnids, they symbolize change and personal transformation. They can also serve as a reminder to take leaps of faith2.
  • Patience and Fertility: Some cultures view daddy long legs as a symbol of patience and fertility, recognizing opportunities and exercising faith.

Here is a quick comparison of interpretations between dreams and folklore:

Dream Interpretation Folklore and Legends
Protection Transformation
Growth Patience and Fertility

Daddy long legs remind us to be open-minded, trust our intuition, and maintain balance between the spiritual realm and our physical experiences. Encounters with these creatures may prompt us to pay attention to the spiritual messages the universe has to offer, helping us to better understand the significance of our decisions and actions.

Daddy Long Legs: Misconceptions and Facts

Venom and Danger Misconceptions

Daddy long legs, or harvestmen, are often misunderstood creatures. They are not venomous spiders, as portrayed in some myths. In fact, they don’t even have venom glands or fangs to deliver venom. They are completely harmless to humans and are even considered beneficial creatures since they prey on smaller insects.

Some people think daddy long legs can kill with their venom, but this is simply a myth. Daddy long legs are excellent examples of resilience and perseverance, as they play an important role in controlling the population of other insects.

Cellar Spiders vs. Harvestmen

It’s essential to differentiate between two creatures commonly referred to as “daddy longlegs”: cellar spiders and harvestmen. Here is a comparison table illustrating some of their features:

Feature Cellar Spiders Harvestmen
Classification Spiders Arachnids
Body Segments 2 1
Webs Yes No
Venom Glands Yes No
  • Cellar Spiders: These are true spiders but are also mild creatures. Their venom is ineffective against humans, despite having venom glands. Cellar spiders do create webs to capture their prey, showcasing their strength and adaptability.

  • Harvestmen: These belong to the arachnid group but are not spiders. Instead, they are more closely related to scorpions. Harvestmen do not produce silk or create webs, meaning they catch their prey without using webs as a trap.

These creatures exemplify harmony, care, and respect towards good people as they don’t pose any harm. However, it’s essential to take action and correct the mistakes that confuse them for poisonous creatures. Meditating on the spiritual meaning of daddy longlegs may reveal the value of overcoming challenges and embracing the power that comes from understanding the nature of misunderstood creatures.

Footnotes

  1. https://www.refinery29.com/daddy-long-legs-spiritual-meaning

  2. https://www.spiritual-encyclopedia.com/daddy-long-legs-symbolism.html

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Harvestman and Mites

 

Grandaddy Longlegs
Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 6:23 AM
Dear Bug Guy, I know that this bug is probably very familiar to everyone, we called it the grandaddy long legs. There was a rumor growing up that if they could bite they would kill you, I never knew if that was true or not, but I never let one get close enough to bite. I saw this particular grandaddy on some wood we were putting away and noticed the little red things on it. Are they eggs, baby grandaddy’s or some other bug hitching a ride. I think their legs look like spark plug wires, I have never seen them this close. So, since we all know what we call these, what is their real name, and what are the little red things attached to it.
Thnaks so much,
Lisa Benningfield
Eastern Kentucky USA

Harvestman with Parasitic Mites
Harvestman with Parasitic Mites

Hi Lisa,
This is a Harvestman in the order Opiliones.  They are often called Daddy Long Legs and they are harmless scavengers without venom.  The red creatures are Parasitic Mites in the genus Leptus.

Letter 2 – Harvestman from New Zealand

 

Subject: Spider with Fangs??
Location: New Zealand
January 27, 2013 5:07 pm
My friends and i spotted this scary looking spider on a tree whilst we were cycling round Lake Matheson on New Zealands south island. it seemed to have ’fangs’ and two long antenna things protruding from its head.
Any information would be grrrreat! thanks!
Signature: Matthew Toothill

Harvestman

Dear Matthew,
Thank you so much for submitting these photos of an interesting Harvestman or Daddy-Long-Legs.  Like Spiders, Harvestmen are Arachnids, but they are classified in the order Opiliones.  While spiders are predators, Opiliones are generally thought of as scavengers and they do not have venom.  Your individual has some unusual traits including the vertical appendages near the head.  We found an image of an unidentified species listed as a “forest species from Kaimanawa” on the Landcare Research of New Zealand website.  We then discovered a SciBlogs site called The Atavism that has some marvelous photos of what appears to be the same species.  It is identified as
Pantopsalis albipalpis with the identification credit going to Christopher Taylor.  The Atavism supplies this information:  “Ordinarily an animal that appears to have crawled out of the pages of The War of the Worlds would be more than enough for a post here, but those spindly legs are as nothing when you compare them to the crane-like appendages growing from his head.  Amazingly, those are his jaws, or at least his chelicerae. Arachnids have two sets of limbs associated with their heads, the pedipalps (which spiders use almost like legs, and, in males to deliver sperm if you can imagine such a dual-purpose organ) and the chelicerae which are used to grasp prey and direct it toward the mouth (arachnids don’t have chewing mouth-parts like many other arthropods).
Females from Pantopsalis and the related genus Megalopsalis have more or less normal chelicerae which point downwards, let their owners shuffle food towards their mouth and do very little else. As you can see, males are built a little differently. In fact, those massive hinged jaws are so different than the female form that males and females have frequently been mistaken for different species. Even within males, several species have two distinct forms; one with relatively low abd broad chelicerae and another with tall slender chompers.”  Christopher Taylor’s paper New Zealand harvestmen of the subfamily Megalopsalidinae (Opiliones: Monoscutidae) – the genus Pantopsalis can be found here on the New Zealand Government website tepapa.  We will attempt to contact Christopher Taylor to see if a species identification is possible based on your photos.  The species name cited in the SciBlogs posting,
P. albipalpis, alludes to the color white on the palps, if our Latin is correct, yet those images do not show white.  Your image does show an individual with white chelicerae.

Harvestman

Christopher Taylor provides some input
Hi Daniel,
Yes, this is the correct e-mail address. Thanks for contacting me. As
regards the animal in the photo, I suspect that it may be _Forsteropsalis_
rather than _Pantopsalis_, but it’s difficult to be sure. The two genera are
closely related and confidently distinguishing them often requires looking
at small features that are difficult to see in photographs. _Forsteropsalis_
species can be larger and more robust than _Pantopsalis_, but not always. I
can’t identify the species, sorry. Coming from that part of the South
Island, it could quite possibly be one that hasn’t yet been described.
Cheers,
Christopher Taylor

Letter 3 – Harvestman from Chile

 

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.

Letter 4 – Harvestman from Brazil

 

Subject: What’s that??
Location: South of Brazil
December 14, 2013 3:05 pm
hi, i’m really curious about that, my mom found it on some flower box, that she bought.
sorry about the english.. Thank You!!
Signature: Bruno

Harvestman
Harvestman

Dear Bruno,
This is a member of the order Opiliones, and the members are commonly called Harvestmen in English.  They are Arachnids that are often mistaken for Spiders, but they do not have venom, hence they are harmless to humans.  The generally feed on dead organic matter of both plant and animal origin.  The Classification of Opiliones website gives you a nice idea of the diversity within the order, and there are even several images from Brazil that closely resemble your individual.

Harvestman
Harvestman

Hi Daniel. Thank you very much!! Keep doing this Excelent work!!
Bruno

Letter 5 – Harvestman carrying Mites

 

Spider in Anza-Borago Desert
On a recent visit to the Anza-Borago Desert in the late afternoon, many spiders like the one in the attached photo came out of hiding and were crawling around on the ground. The spider had long legs with white dots on them and an orange body with a black area on its back. Sorry the photo is not better. All I had was my little digital camera and these spiders moved fast! Thanks for the help.
Nancy in Minnesota

Hi Nancy,
This is not a spider. It is a Harvestman in the order Opiliones, commonly called Daddy-Long-Legs. It appears your Harvestman is transporting Mites, which use the Harvestman to move from location to location and hopefully, a food source. We are not sure of either the species of Harvestman, or the Mites. We do not want to rule out the possibility that the Harvestman is a female transporting her young. this is a behavior shared by certain other Arachnids, including Wolf Spiders, Scorpions, and Whip Scorpions. We will check with Eric Eaton, but he will probably not respond until Monday.

Update: (04/28/2008)
Daniel:
Yes, those are mites (probably phoretic and not parasitic) on the harvestman.
Eric

Letter 6 – Harvestman from Afghanistan

 

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.

Letter 7 – Harvestman from Baja

 

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.

Letter 8 – Harvestman from Brazil

 

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.

Letter 9 – Harvestman from Brazil

 

Subject:  Spider brazil
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern Brazil
Date: 03/09/2019
Time: 09:30 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  O Foundation this spider in a forest, near a creek. What species Is it? Is it venemous? Thanks.
How you want your letter signed:  Silvia

Harvestman

Dear Silvia,
Though it resembles a Spider, this Harvestman is an Arachnid in the order Opiliones whose members lack venom.  This Harvestman poses no threat to humans.

Letter 10 – Harvestman from Crete

 

Subject: Identification, please
Location: Crete, Greece
November 3, 2016 12:29 am
I spotted this ‘spider’ crawling at the bottom of an empty swimming pool in Crete, Greece. It was very slow moving, not like a normal spider.
Signature: any way

Harvestman
Harvestman

Dear any way,
This is not a Spider, but another Arachnid known as a Harvestman from the order Opiliones.  The post-production framing on your images is not something we see very often, which is why it is especially interesting to us because the last time we received images of similar looking Harvestmen from Crete, they had the same framing treatment.  The species is identified as
Trogulus tricarinatus on the Natura Mediterraneo site.  According to BugGuide, this species has been introduced to North America.

Harvestman
Harvestman

Hi, Daniel.
Very many thanks for the ID, most appreciated.
I have to tell you that I wrote to you some years ago, requesting an ID for the self-same critter!  I thought it was a harvestman, but wasn’t sure, because the flat body seemed so unusual for a harvestman.
I think your site is excellent, thank you very much.
Carol

Hi Carol,
That explains the similar framing treatment in your previously submitted images.

Letter 11 – Harvestman from England

 

Subject: Weird spider or moth?
Location: Basingstoke [England]
February 15, 2013 10:43 am
Hi – I found this bug outside a friend’s house in Basingstoke, it was around a year ago but I can’t remember exactly what time of year. It was just outside the front door on a piece of wood.
Signature: Spidey

Harvestman

Dear Spidey,
This is not a spider.  It is a Harvestman, another group of Arachnids in the order Opiliones.  We believe it is a nonnative species,
Dicranopalpus ramosus, and we first posted a photo to our site in 2008.  

Ooh wow, thankyou very much for replying 🙂

Letter 12 – Harvestman from Ireland

 

Subject: Never seen before bug
Location: Dublin, Ireland
October 16, 2015 2:25 pm
I live in Dublin, Ireland and our bugs are straight forward and little different. We are surrendered by much of fields and forests so we see a lot of normal bugs.
Except this one. Never seen it before. I send a pic of a boy scout leader and he never seen it before either in Ireland.
Signature: Sean

Harvestman
Harvestman

Dear Sean,
This is a non-native Harvestman in the order Opiliones,
Dicranopalpus ramosus, and it was first reported to us in 2008.  It seems to be well established in the UK.

Letter 13 – Harvestman from Malaysia

 

Subject: Spider found near Jungle
Location: Penang, Malaysia
November 6, 2016 8:13 pm
Hey Bugman,
Can you identify this spider I found in Penang, Malaysia? I’ve been trying to ID it online, but I can’t seem to find anything that closely resembles it. Thanks for the help.
Signature: Jon

Harvestman: Sandokan sp
Harvestman: Sandokan sp.

Dear Jon,
This is not a spider, but a different type of Arachnid in the order Opiliones, and the members of the order are known as Harvestmen.  We found your individual identified as Sandokan sp. on the Classification of Opiliones site, but you have to scroll down to see the image.  The same image is posted to FlickR.  Here is another FlickR image.

Letter 14 – Harvestman from Hong Kong

 

Subject: Unknown species of harvestman
Location: Lantau Island, Hong Kong
February 4, 2017 7:17 am
Hi Bugman,
I found this harvestman under a rotting log while I was hiking. I’ve browsed your website and I believe its the same species as the one in
2016/11/11/unidentified-harvestman-malaysia/
I hope you can try to identify what species it is. Thank you!
Signature: Mitch

Harvestman

Dear Mitch,
We agree your individual looks very similar to the Harvestman in our archives from Malaysia.  We will see if we can find a species or genus identification for you.

Harvestman

Letter 15 – Harvestman from Peru: Eutimesius simoni

 

Subject: Harvestmen from Peru
Location: Peru
March 9, 2014 9:45 am
Hello again with another interesting arthropod from rainforests of Peru. This harvestmen (Opilionidae) was found in the forest near Iquitos in 2013. Any clue which d lead to further ID is welcomed, thanks!
Signature: Jiri Hodecek

Harvestman
Harvestman

Hi again Jiri,
This is truly an unusual looking Harvestman in the order Opiliones.  We are going to contact Dr. Adriano Kury and Ricardinho Pinto da Rocha who specialize in South American Opiliones to see if they can offer any information.

Dr. Adriano Kury responds
Parece um Eutimesius, Ricardo pode dizer melhor…
Translation courtesy of Babylon:  “It seems a Eutimesius, Ricardo can say better …”

Ed. Note: 
See FlickR, Eighth Eye Photography and http://www.museunacional.ufrj.br/mndi/Aracnologia/opiliones.html [we are unable to connect at the time of this posting].

Thank u a lot! Yeah, I kinda guessed Stygnidae family.. I just found out there r only 4 species in that genus.. Unfortunately almost no photos online..
J.Hodecek

And now there is your image.

Ricardo Pinto da Rocha responds
Daniel, it seems to be Eutimesius simoni
Ricardo

Authors

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  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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