Is a Daddy Long Legs a Spider?

spiders-0264If you’ve ever spent any time at all out in the woods, you most likely have seen a daddy long legs. You may have watched it run past, all of its eight legs in motion as it scurried across the leaves. It seems like every child I ever encounter during an outdoor program has a few sentences they believe with absolute certainty concerning daddy long legs. Some of the “facts” they know, they say they learned from their teachers at school! Amazing, since most of the things they tell me are totally false.

For once and for all, here are some REAL FACTS about daddy long legs:

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A daddy long legs is NOT A SPIDER! Unlike spiders who have two body parts, an unsegmented abdomen, and silk glands, and usually 8 eyes, daddy long legs have none of those.

Daddy long legs are related to spiders, just as a moth is related to a firefly, but they are not spiders. Instead, they are in a group called Harvestmen. Here is how a daddy long legs differs from a spider:

  • Daddy long legs have only ONE body part
  • They do not produce silk.
  • They do NOT HAVE VENOM! (even though many kids will tell you they have the most powerful venom in the world!)
  • They have only two eyes.
  • They have a segmented abdomen
  • They have a totally different respiratory system.

Next time you are talking with someone and the subject comes up, maybe you can join me in the fight to clear up some of these crazy myths that are widely accepted as fact.

Here is a picture of a spider–notice the differences, including two body parts and eight eyes(which are pretty small in this picture and hard to see, but there are indeed 8), as well as the presence of what’s called pedipalps, towards the front of the spider.

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2 Comments

  1. Judy May 14, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

    Hi Sharon,

    Met you today along the Blue Ridge and asked about your tripod. Just wanted you to know I checked your site out. Good luck with it and maybe we’ll bump into each other again.

    • Sharon Mammoser May 15, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

      Hey Judy,
      Thanks for looking me up! I enjoyed chatting with you yesterday. Hope you had a nice hike to the falls.Maybe I will see you in the f32 club at some point! Happy day!

One Trackback

  1. By Spider Myths Debunked! on May 28, 2014 at 1:07 am

    […]  Daddy-long-legs are NOT spiders. Like insects, they are related to spiders but unlike spiders they have only ONE body part. In addition, they don’t make silk, have venom or fangs. Daddy-long-legs are in a group of animals called Harvestmen. (To read more on this, Click HERE.) […]