#Biodiversity150 number 67 of 150 Daddy Long Legs

67/150: Not Poisonous, and Not a Spider! The friendly backyard “Daddy-Long-Legs”

animalia: Arthropoda: Arachnida: Opiliones: Sclerosomatidae: Leiobunum: Leiobunum vittatum (Say, 1821)

Harvestmen or “Daddy-long-legs” are commonly presented as “the most venomous spiders in the world, with fangs too short to bite”, but this is a myth! Although they are in the same class as spiders, mites and scorpions, (Arachnida), they are not true spiders. Harvestmen have a small body with a fused thorax and cephalothorax (abdomen), lack venom glands and silk glands, making them completely harmless to humans. Harvestmen are predators, feeding on eggs, soft-bodied and dead insects.  Fossils of this ancient group of arachnids have been dated as over 400 million years old, making them the first animals to have evolved a penis. It’s speculated that the harvestmen’s long legs (which can be up to 20 times longer than their body) help them to keep their body off the ground and away from predators, and that their bouncing walk helps efficiently propel themselves forward. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

An Eastern Harvestman (Leiobunum vittatum) resting on a leaf. Photo Credit: Dan Mullen goo.gl/X3H3SN
Close up of a Daddy-Long-Legs. Photo Credit: Rob Swatski goo.gl/rnN71R

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID:  OPILI223-11

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Leiobunum vittatum

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:ACV5069

Title Image: Specimen OPILI223-11 – Point Pelee National Park, Ontario – 23-Jul-2010 – Pitfall Trap
Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics