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[All pictures of garden wildlife on this page are thumbnails. Click on any thumbnail for a large format to be displayed.]

Harvestmen (Opiliones)

Harvestmen resemble spiders a lot, but they are actually very different. They have only two eyes which are located on the front part of the body on some kind of small "hill". Their body consists of just one element and that is a distint difference compared to the bodies of insects, spiders and scorpions. Harvestmen can neither spin threads nor build webs, nor are capable of producing venom. The best known harvestmen have very long legs (that is why they are also known as daddy long legs), but there are species with 'regular' legs as well. When threatened harvestmen are able to loose one or more legs. The leg is left behind and it still moves trying to catch the attackers attention. A harvestman needs only three legs to move about. Even though some harvestmen are carnivores, most will eat almost anything: from freshly caught prey to animals already dead and excretes or plants. Most harvestmen reach their adult stage in autumn. Their small bodies on long feet are associated with the hay carts used by farmers in the old days. That's how they got their name. Another name for Opiliones is daddy-long-legs.

Common Harvestman Phalangium opilio

The Common Harvestman is often seen on the walls and in the gardens. More...

Red Harvestman Opilio canestrinii

The Red Harvestman catches the eye by the striking contrast between the reddish body and the black legs. More...

Spring Harvestman Rilaena triangulari

The Spring Harvestman is usually the only harvestmen seen in spring and in early summer. More...

Dicranopalpus ramosus

Dicranopalpus ramosus is easily recognised because of the long legs spread to the sides and the large forked palps. More...

Oligolophus tridens

Oligolophus tridens is the most common of the short-legged harvestmen. More...

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