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Daddy Longlegs Revisited (Family Phalangiidae)

Daddy Longlegs or Harvestman are predators, eating insect eggs, small insects like aphids and springtails and critters as large as snails, earthworms, and other DLLs. A few species scavenge dead or decaying matter. Lacking the venomous fangs of true spiders, the Harvestman hunts for soft-bodied prey which it squeezes with its pincers and then stuffs into its mouth.

Night Orange

The BugLady puts out oranges for the birds—orioles, house finches, catbirds, and several species of woodpeckers eat the pulp. The BugLady guesses that ants, flies and German yellowjackets and raccoons would be the first and most numerous guests at the table, but that some interesting stuff would come to the night-time table.

The Porch at Night

It’s a good thing that the BugLady doesn’t have nearby neighbors (or a Home Owners’ Association) who might be alarmed about someone who turns on the porch light and then creeps around taking pictures of porch critters at midnight.

PseudoScorpion (Family Pseudoscorpiones)

Pseudoscorpions like today’s star, the Book Scorpion, come in both indoor and outdoor models; the species that live outside are found under the cover of bark, leaves and soil. The common House Pseudoscorpion/Book Scorpion is one of the larger models, measuring 0.2″ long. Pseudoscorpions are flat and wedge-shaped, and their color has been described as “rich mahogany. They have 4 pairs of legs, on which they can walk backwards and sideways as well as forwards.

Daddy Longlegs

Daddy longlegs or Harvestman are not true spiders. They belong in the Order Opiliones, not with the true spiders in the Order Araneae. Harvestmen may congregate in large numbers in fall, which is thought to be a warming strategy. They are found in fields and meadows, both nocturnally and on bright days. Up to 40 pale green eggs are laid underground in fall. Head-of-a-pin-sized young hatch in spring, live one summer, mate, lay eggs and die. They produce neither web nor nest.