Aug 15, 2007


Peer came across this creep-crawly in his doorway. Its called a weberknecht in German, a harvestman or 'daddy-long-legs' in English, or 'shoe fodder' to those of us who deal with rampant infestations of them.

Contrary to their appearance, these arachnids are not spiders. In fact, it is thought that their closest cousin is the mite. That makes them even less attractive. There are over 6,400 species of harvestmen on the planet. Why, oh why, are there so many? Why? Can they actually be such a successful creature that nature has decided to propogate their kind contrary to the eyesores they make under the eaves of my roof?

Thanks for the photo, Peer. It comforts me to know that though you and I live an ocean apart, we still have to contend with the same creepies.


Becky in Iowa :O) said...

Wow, I had no clue that Daddy Long Legs weren't actually spiders. My grandparents lived on a farm that had millions of them. They were the only bugs I wasn't totally afraid of. I used to let them crawl all over me. lol So I guess the only spiders I'm not afraid of are the tarantulas. For some reason really big spiders don't frighten me as much as lil bitty ones. LOL

Anonymous said...

Holy crap. That is one ugly looking thing. So glad I've never seen Daddy Long Legs personally. *shudder*

Anonymous said...

Umm question!

I somehow thought that those not-spiders were Harvestmen and Daddy Long-Legs were these fellas:

Googling doesn't give an answer, maybe someone smartypants here will?

Anonymous said...

Frigga--actually, both names are commonly used for both creepy-crawlies. Confused yet? ;-)

Ah, these critters bring back memories. They used to collect under the eaves of the backwoods shack I grew up in. When they massed together (usually during the cool of the morning,) they look like a clump of thick black hair. Mom called such a clump an "armpit" because it looked like the eaves had grown one overnight!

I'd run my hands through the bunch and watch as they bobbled away on those impossibly-long legs, leaving behind a bizarre quinine odor.


Anonymous said...

I too grew up letting harvestmen (we called them "daddy longlegs") crawl all over me but I never did see an "armpit" cluster. Argg.

From what I could determine, "daddy longlegs" refers to multiple crawlies (including harvestmen) but harvestmen are the round bodied insects you find crwling through the grass or pretending to be armpit hair.

"Three different unrelated groups are called "daddy-longlegs." Harvestmen have no venom of any kind. None at all! Same with crane flies. Pholcid spiders have venom (like almost all spiders) but there's nothing special about it..."