Sometimes Harvestmen are not farmers

Did you know that some spiders are also called harvestmen? They're not always scary—you just have to observe them to see their beauty!

Most of us shudder at the sight of spiders, but they are really fascinating creatures. Did you know that most spiders are solitary… and cannibalistic? Many female spiders eat the males after mating!

However, there are some spiders that are more sociable. One variety called Social Spiders, spin whole “apartment” complexes, which can cover large areas, like long stretches of this barbed wire fence:

Or over plants, as you can see here:

However, there is another group of spiders which are commonly called Harvestmen or Daddy Long-legs (they have long, thin legs)! Scientifically their name is Opiliones, but they are also referred to as “shepherd spiders” in reference to how their unusually long legs reminded observers of the ways that some European shepherds used stilts to better observe their wandering flocks from a distance.

They suddenly came to my mind when I looked at what I thought was a dark patch of small twigs on the trunk of a tree…

… and found that they were actually a tightly-clustered group of Havestmen:

I also took a short video. You can see them moving on their spindly legs, hardly seeming to touch the bark of the tree!

Here’s my friend documenting the congregation after I showed him the spiders:

Harvestmen are very old arachnids. There are fossils from 410 million years ago that prove that the group has lived on land since that time. How wonderful to come across these marvellous creatures!

I hope reading this post may help remove some of the fears of arachnids (spiders) that many of us suffer from, and allow us see them for the fascinating creatures that they are.

Related Articles

Umbrella Fishing by Painted Storks!
The rock on which Bengaluru sits
Purple is beautiful…and common!
The bird of State, with blue throat!


  1. Ashok Kumar S says:

    Interesting 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

Why the national programme for clean air failed a gasping Mumbai

Mumbai has seen an alarming decline in air quality. A look at the limited impact of the National Clean Air Programme on mitigating pollution.

October 2023 was a shocker for Mumbai. The coastal city has historically recorded lower AQI levels as compared to Delhi, which is notorious for its poor air quality. But the tables turned in October 2023, with AQI in Mumbai reaching dangerously high levels of up to 300, surpassing Delhi for several days. This led to a slew of respiratory ailments, more so among the vulnerable populations. PM2.5 levels have, in fact, seen a consistent increase in Mumbai over the past three years. Dr Jui Mandke, a paediatric surgeon practising in Mumbai, says, “In October 2023, we encountered the maximum number…

Similar Story

Ottupattarai renewed: From garbage dump to community garden in Coonoor

An initiative by the Coonoor Town Municipality and voluntary organisation Clean Coonoor has diverted tonnes of plastic waste from going to landfills.

Ottupattarai, once marred by the unsightly accumulation of waste in the picturesque hill town of Coonoor in Tamil Nadu, has undergone a remarkable transformation. This was possible through the dedicated efforts of Clean Coonoor, a city-based NGO. Nestled in the highest part of Coonoor, amidst the tea gardens of the Nilgiris, the waste dumping site in Ottupattarai has metamorphosed into a thriving garden that serves as a community space for residents. The makeover journey began in 2014 when 15 dedicated volunteers established Clean Coonoor to initiate sustainable waste management practices in the town. Beginnings of a journey In 2019, Clean…