Kristi discovered this harvestman after molting, which we imagine would be a captivating process to watch with those long, spindly legs. We’re not 100% sure but believe this is the European Harvestman or Common Harvestman (Phalangium opilio), “the most widespread species of harvestman in the world,” occurring natively in Europe, and much of Asia, and having been introduced to North America, North Africa and New Zealand.
Harvestmen, sometimes called daddy longlegs, are arachnids that reside in the order Opiliones. Their two body segments appear as a single oval structure and they sport slender, seven-segmented legs. Some spiders, like cellar spiders, look similar but the division between their cephalothorax and abdomen is more obvious. Harvestman do not produce silk or venom and are harmless to humans. They are mostly predators of insects and other invertebrates, but they also scavenge dead invertebrates and suck fluids from fruits, fungi, and dung.
Size: Body length 3.5 mm — 7 mm
Photo by: Kristi DuBois on 10/3/21 in Missoula, MT