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Common HARVESTMEN : Phalangium opilio

These are similar to daddy longlegs - the spiderlike  kind, not the fly. And it looks like a spider, but isn't. Although it looks like a long-legged spider, it isn’t one. It is one of the Opilones, a group of arachnids closely related to spiders. Unlike the spiders, it has no silk glands so is not able to spin a web. It does not have fangs and does not produce venom.[RSPB].

There are about 25 species live in the UK.

You will notice immediately that it looks a bit different. The harvestman is very distinctive with a round, compact body and extremely long legs. Its head and body are fused together and are light chestnut in colour.

These are arachnids and are related to spiders and scorpions.

It catches its insect prey by using hooks on the ends of its legs. These arachnids defend themselves by secreting a foul-smelling fluid. If they are caught, they are able to shed a leg to escape.

They generally eat small insects, snails and worms. However, some species are omnivorous and will scavenge anything they can find, from fruit to fungi. Harvestmen can be found in leaf litter, among foliage and in grass in a wide variety of habitats.

A harvestman found in the grass within the Lomond Industrial Estate in mid-summer.

BRITISH SPIDERS website : https://britishspiders.org.uk/harvestmen

RSPB : https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/other-garden-wildlife/insects-and-other-invertebrates/worms-slugs-spiders/harvestman/

WILDLIFE TRUSTS : https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/invertebrates/spiders/common-harvestman

WOODLAND TRUST : https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/animals/spiders-and-harvestmen/harvestman/

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