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Harvestman

The Harvestman is grey to light brown, with a rectangular, elongated abdomen, and 4 pairs of long legs. Their body is approximately 1 cm in length, and with legs extended – up to 5 cm long.

Adults tend to hide during the day, and become active at night when they search for food, such as plant juices, and dead or sometimes living, insects.

When they move, the second pair of legs, the longest, touch the surface in search of food. If something edible is found, they begin a teetering motion, tilting their bodies forward to grab their prey.

Harvestman, Vancouver Island, BC
Harvestman, Vancouver Island, BC, Photo By Bud Logan

Harvestman are arachnids, but they are actually not spiders. There are over 6,500 different species of these relatives of spiders. There is an urban legend that says these creatures are the most venomous creatures in the world, but with fangs that are too small to pierce the skin of a human. This is false, and in fact, this spider has no venom glands or fangs but instead has chelicerae.

They will often feed on small insects, fungus, dead organisms, and fecal matter.

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One thought on “Harvestman”

  1. Pretty important note: harvestmen aren’t spiders, spiders are a sister order to the harvestmen. And scorpions. And mites. Better not to call them spiders and instead educate folks on the fact that they’re not even remotely spiders. They don’t even look like spiders other than “also have spindly legs” =)

    (their body just looks like “one thing”, unlike spider’s, which have a distinct thorax and abdomen)

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