Harvestman

Order Opiliones Back <------

These are not real spiders, but resembles the spiders very much because they also have eight, sometimes very long, legs.
They belong to the class Arachnida like the spiders, ticks and mites, scorpions and pseudoscorpiones.
World-wide over 6000 known species are known. Over 100 species can be found in NW-Europe.
Some common ones are showed on this page.

Opilione; one body and two eyes Spider; two body sections and eight eyes

Harvestmen have an oval shaped body. The front and back of the body is grown together in contrast to spiders where the front and back end is separated by a stalk (pedicel).
They have two eyes in the middle of their head looking sideways. They are also known as "harvestmen". Most of the harvestmen have long legs, but not all.
Harvestman do not have booklungs but breath through trachea only.
They should not be confused with the "daddy longlegs" (Pholcidae).
Opiliones do not possess poison glands but has instead glands that produce a stinky odor. They also have no silk glands or spinners.
Harvestmen eat everything (omnivorous). They catch small insects or eat the decays of any dead animal, bird dung and other facial material, all kind of plant material and fungi.
Normally they are active during the night.
Copulation is, in contrast to the spiders directly, directly with a penis. There is no foreplay and the copulation is no longer than a few minutes and may be repeated several times.



Dicranopalpus ramosus

Dicranopalpus ramosus

Dicranopalpus ramosus

Dicranopalpus ramosus

Dicranopalpus ramosus Dicranopalpus ramosus
Dicranopalpus ramosus male and female by Hans Jonkman Dicranopalpus ramosus
Leiobunum rotundum often crawl together forming a bunch of legs and bodies.

Leiobunum rotundum male

Leiobunum rotundum female

Leiobunum rotundum female

Leiobunum rotundum male


Mitopus morio

Mitopus morio

 Mitopus morio male

Mitopus morio male

 Mitopus morio female

 Mitopus morio infested with a mite (red dot on leg)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nemastoma lugubre

Nemastoma lugubre
Nemastoma lugubre Nemastoma lugubre

Opilio canestrinii

Opilio canestrinii

 Opilio canestrinii man

 Opilio canestrinii man

Opilio canestrinii   Oligolophus tridens vrouw

Opilio saxatilis

Paroligolophus agrestis in a stolen web?
A harvestman does not make webs. This one seems happy in it.

  Opilio canestrinii

Paroligolophus agrestis

Paroligolophus agrestis

 Paroligolophus agrestis

 Paroligolophus agrestis

Phalangium opilio

Phalangium opilio

 Phalangium opilio male

Phalangium opilio male

 Phalangium opilio female  Phalangium opilio female
Rilaena triangularis Rilaena triangularis
Rilaena triangularis Rilaena triangularis


With thanks to Luc Vanhercke.
H. Wijnhoven, De Nederlandse hooiwagens, Opiliones, Entomologische tabellen, 3/2009, ISSN 1875-760x.

Ed Nieuwenhuys, 1 February 2014

5 december 2012,30 april 2010, 4 november 2008, 15 march 2007, April 24, 1999