Saturday, October 16, 2010

Daddy Long Legs - NH 008

NH 008
Category: Arachnids
Order: Opiliones

Thinking about making Saturdays 'Spider Saturdays,' but we shall see if that will continue . Anyway, technically today's exhibit isn't actually a spider at all despite most everyone calling them spiders. They are, however, arachnids (just not true spiders) and belong to the order Opiliones. I don't know the rest of the classification yet, but if anyone knows how to classify these guys further please just post a comment.

This long-legged guy was found at Toboggan Lodge, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York which is right on Beebe Lake. Unfortunately, while trying to capture the harvestman (as they are also known as) I picked him up by the leg. What I didn't know was that in distress they can actually release their legs, so one of his legs is detached, but still floating around in the vial.

And finally I'm going to just clear some things up. We have all probably grown up with the belief that these guys are actually the most poisonous spiders in the world but are unable to bit you/penetrate the skin. Even I held that belief for awhile. But alas it is utterly false. None of the species categorized in Opiliones even have venom glands; and the urban legend has already been debunked by the Mythbusters (remember Adam sticking his arm in a box littered with them), and Bill Nye. So you don't have to worry about them at all.

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