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Daddy Long Legs Spider

Daddy longlegs or, as they are also known, harvestmen, are to me among the most fascinating species.

Daddy Long Legs Spiders

Daddy Long Legs Spider

They are characterized by having one basic body segment which shows segmentation on the posterior portion, at most 2 eyes and all 8 legs attach to the pill-like body segment. They are usually found under logs and rocks, prefer moist habitat.

They can be found in the desert, often have long flexible legs (in the temperate Northern hemisphere but there are also short-legged daddy-longlegs) and they do not produce silk so therefore they are never found in webs unless they are being eaten by spiders. Because they are found under logs and other stuff which people most often are not turning over, most folks don’t run into daddy-longlegs very often.

The family of the Pholcidae normally inhabits warmer regions but Pholcus phalangioides is cosmopolitan finding shelter in the warmth of our houses. Most of the time Pholcus can be found hanging upside down in a loose web in the corner of the ceiling. Its strategy is to remain motionless until a prey passes. And its prey is not what you would expect. It eats mostly other spiders.

Harvestman spider

Harvestman Spider

Life Cycle :Most species of harvestmen reproduce sexually but some have only female individuals and reproduce through parthenogenesis. The males of some species defend territories, and some offer the female a secretion from their chelicerae prior to mating. Harvestmen mate through direct copulation rather than using a spermatophore, and in some species the male guards the female after copulation has occurred.

In some species, the female builds a nest in which to lay her eggs and clusters of them are laid shortly after mating or up to several months later. The males of some species are responsible for guarding the eggs that have been produced after he has mated with several different females.

The eggs can hatch anytime after the first 20 days, up until about 6 months after being laid. The young harvestmen resemble their adult form and go through four to eight nymphal stages, with six being the most common, before they reach maturity at 2–3 months old. Adult harvestmen continue to regularly molt and although most species live for only one year, some can live longer.

Daddy Long Legs Spiders

Daddy Long Legs Spiders

Preventing Spider Bites:Shake out clothing and shoes before getting dressed. Wear gloves when handling firewood, lumber, and rocks.Be sure to inspect the gloves for spiders before putting them on. Exercise care when handling cardboard boxes.

Insecticides: There are many labeled pesticides for spider control. Some are labeled for homeowner use, while others are labeled only for the licensed, certified pesticide applicator.

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