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!

Comments:

  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Your email address will not be published.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

Bengaluru’s street vendors are the first to be impacted by climate change: Lekha Adavi

Lekha Adavi, member of AICTU, says the nature of street vending has changed in the city due to the impact of climate change.

(This is part 1 of the interview with Lekha Adavi on the impact of climate change on Bengaluru's street vendors) On May 1st, while the world celebrated Labour Day, Bengaluru recorded its highest temperature in 40 years. With temperatures continually on the rise, one of the most affected groups are street and peripatetic vendors (vendors who operate on foot or with push carts). In this interview, Lekha Adavi, member of the All India Centre of Trade Unions (AICTU), talks about the effect of climate change on street vendors. Excerpts: Lekha Adavi, member of the All India Centre of Trade Unions…

Similar Story

Smothered by smog: Struggle of vegetable vendors in Delhi’s Keshopur Mandi

Delhi's air pollution affects every resident, but for the urban poor, like vegetable vendors of Keshopur Mandi, it is much worse.

Halfway through our interview, vegetable vendor Rekha asked me point blank, “Isse kya hoga,” and at that moment, I could not think of an answer. She was right and had every reason to be hopeless. Much has been written about air pollution and much energy has been spent on expert committees and political debates and yet nothing has changed.  “Hum toh garib log hai, hum kisko jakar bole, hamari sunvai nahin hoti” (We are poor people, to whom do we go, nobody listens to us),” says Rekha Devi, who sells vegetables in the Keshopur Mandi. Keshopur is a large retail…