Monthly Archive: June 2013

An Eastern Cape Harvestman

We recently went on an outing with The Spider Club of Southern Africa to a place outside Port Alfred called Riet River. Part of the outing was to go to a place nearby called Pig Island. I am not too sure where the name Pig Island came from although it was an interesting and very informative outing to say the least. Whilst on a walk of the area, we came across this little critter, the harvestman. What an awesome looking arachnid.

Harvestman are sometimes called Daddy Longlegs. It is an arachnid related to the spider and has the usual eight legs. They are from the class arachnida and order Opiliones (formerly known as Phalangida). Unlike a spider, a harvestman has long, stiltlike legs and a segmented abdomen, but has no silk glands. They can also run pretty fast. They do not have venom glands or fangs. Harvestmen have tiny mouthparts that allow them to grind up their food which consists of insects and plants. Harvestmen do not bite which means they are totally harmless to humans. Some harvestmen can, however, give off a bad odor from their stink glands if they are disturbed.
Harvestman