Monday, May 10, 2010

Catskills: It's Spring!!!!



Spring has emerged and so has the campers and creatures of the forests...

Eeek!


A “daddy long legged spider!!” Or is it? There are 3 species of creatures that are often referred to as a “daddy long legs”.


One of which is actually an insect, the Crane Fly, which looks like a spider with wings, but it is not a spider.


This lovely creature here, who tried to join me for lunch, is the Harvestmen; an eight long legged invertebrate of the Opiliones order in the class of Arachnida, but it too is not a spider. So what’s the difference between the Harvestmen and spiders? The Harvestmen has only two eyes, two main body sections, the abdomen with ten segments and the cephalothorax (a fused head and thorax, of course) which are joined as to give the appearance on one oval structure. Now would you believe that urban legend has it that this little Arachnida might be the most venomous creature on the earth!? Well, thank goodness this is an untruth. It doesn’t have venom glands or venom fangs and its mouth and fangs are so small that if it were to bite a human or large creature, the bite would be insignificant. And this is also true of the real “daddy long legged” spider.


The Pholcid, Cellar (House) Spider, aka “daddy long legged” spider is a true spider with two separate body sections and eight eyes (all the better to see ya). So to see a “daddy long legged” spider check your basement, because that’s where they are often found.

And the next time you are in the woods, look for the Harvestmen because it is a ground-dwelling outdoor loving creature.


For more info:

http://www.xs4all.nl/~ednieuw/Spiders/Pholcidae/Pholcidae.htm


www.washington.edu/burkemuseum/spidermyth/myths/daddylonglegs.html


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