Are daddy long leg spiders poisonous? — Hailey’s student essay

Are Daddy Long Leg Spiders Poisonous?

It has been a big question over if Daddy Long legs are poisonous. What are Daddy Longlegs anyway? Daddy Longlegs are actually considered Arachnids, not spiders. Daddy Longlegs also go by the name Harvestman. These Arachnids have some spider-like qualities which is why people often make that mistake. Unlike spiders, Daddy Longlegs don’t spin webs because they do not produce silk. Daddy Long Legs actually have only two eyes unlike spiders who have eight. Another difference is that Daddy Longlegs are not venomous. They do not have fangs or venom glands. They have to protect themselves in other ways.

Daddy Longlegs have defensive stink glands that emit a foul smell that predators despise. This Arachnid also can camouflage extremely well with its surroundings. In the daytime Daddy Longlegs often hide cracks and crevices. If they are disturbed or threatened Daddy Longlegs will curl up in a ball and pretend to be dead. They will remain motionless for a few minutes before getting back up again. This tactic works extremely well.

If someone does get a hold of the one of Daddy Long Legs legs it could shed its own leg off. If the Arachnid is already full grown a new leg will not grow in the place of the leg. If it is still in the nymph stage a new leg might grow back but it’s not always going to happen.The legs are actually the most important part because they are the nerve centers of the Daddy Longlegs. Their legs have the ability to sense vibrations, tastes, and smells.

Common daddy-longlegs

A common misconception about Daddy Longlegs is that they are the most dangerous venom out of all the spiders. This statement is completely wrong. Daddy longlegs are harmless and won’t hurt humans in any way.

daddy long legs

There are actually three types of Daddy Longlegs. The first kind is the Harvestman which is the most common type. The second kind is called the crane fly. The Crane Fly is part of the Diptera order and it is also considered a true fly. This fly has six legs compared to Harvestman which has eight. It also has wings and looks like a bigger version of the mosquito. The crane fly does not harm humans.

The last group of Daddy Long Legs are called Pholcidaes. The Pholcidaes are actually spiders and they do have venom glands. These spiders are better known as Cellar Spiders, They are found across the United States and on the Pacific Coast. Even though cellar spiders have venom glands there are no incidents showing that their venom can harm humans. If you do end up getting bit by one of these Cellar spiders you will have nothing more than a short burning sensation. It is nowhere as deadly as the black widow spider so you have nothing to worry about.

In conclusion, Daddy Long legs have many common misconceptions against them. Daddy Long legs are completely harmless to humans and we do not need to worry about them poisoning us.

Author: Hailey Orton

University of Louisiana at Lafayette
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