The Low Down on Daddy Long Legs
A common mistake that most people tend to make is automatically assuming a daddy longlegs is a spider because it has a bunch of legs, a small body, and is super disturbing. But, they’re actually not real spiders. A daddy longlegs, also known as a harvestman, is actually a type of arachnid that belongs to the Opiliones family, which are different from true spiders. Harvestmen can’t actually produce venom, or even have fangs. They’re not even harmful to humans! Even so, we often don’t like seeing them because most people assume spiders are bad.
A big difference between spiders and daddy longlegs is that a body of a spider is usually in two segments, whereas in the harvestmen it’s fused into one. The body of a daddy longlegs is actually pretty small. On average, the body is only about five-sixteenths of an inch, whereas the legs can span up to six inches. To put it in perspective, if the same ratio was applied to humans, we’d all be walking around with legs that would reach up to 50 feet. That’s absolutely crazy. The legs are also able to detach easily from the body, so if they are being chased by a predator, they can leave behind a leg, which twitches and lets daddy longlegs escape. The leg can twitch anywhere from a minute to a whole hour!
But, you must keep in mind that just because they aren’t dangerous doesn’t mean they should still be there. It’s still important for people to get an inspection in order to get rid of unwanted pests, because they can still cause problems.
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