Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Daddy Longlegs: Three Critters, Same Name

Daddy longlegs is a term used to refer to three different types of critters, and only one of them is a spider. Also, a common belief that daddy longlegs spiders are the most venomous spiders in the world is an urban myth.
Harvestmen & crane flies

The term most properly refers to an arachnid in the order Opiliones. They are also called harvestmen. This outdoor arachnid typically lives under logs or rocks. Unlike spiders, it has only one pill-like body segment. It also has only two eyes, does not spin webs, and is not venomous. Like the spider, it has eight very long legs that can be 30 times as long as its body.

In the Southern United States as well as some parts of Canada and the United Kingdom, the crane fly is also sometimes called a daddy longlegs.This distinctive bug, with six long legs and two large wings, is not a spider, nor an arachnid, but is an insect.

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