Daddy Long Legs

Mojo Jojo

Arachnoking
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I know this should probably be on the insect forum, but since there isn't much traffic there, I thought I would post here.

Where can I get good information on the arachnid called "Daddy Long Legs" in the US.

I'm trying to dispell the myth, with someone that I work with, that the Daddy Long Legs is one of the "most venemous spiders...but mouth to small to bite a person". Unfortunately, this person was told this myth by one of her High School Scientific Teachers. And of course, how could the science teacher be wrong...

From what I understand, the problem came about due to a spider in Austrailia that is also called a Daddy Long Legs, whose venom is highly toxic.

Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks

Big Dragonfly
 

Vys

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Hmm, this is quite interesting..I bought this book in Oz, about spiders, and sure it was a 'green guide' book, namely a small not too complicated (or expensive :p ) book, but it covered all spider families in oz and had some neat info. Anyway, it was written by a supposed expert with loads of years of field experience...yet even I found some holes in it.
And now that I can't believe in the grandaddy longlegs myth anymore, I just found anotehr hole :p

Anyway, we had those true and more common (to human eyes) daddy longleg spiders in our house down there, heaps of them in fact, and they have the coolest defense mechanism.
As soon as they get disturbed, the go spinning around their thread fast as a small cyclone, sometimes at the same time as they go up and down their thread.
 

Chris

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Originally posted by Big Dragonfly
I know this should probably be on the insect forum, but since there isn't much traffic there, I thought I would post here.

Where can I get good information on the arachnid called "Daddy Long Legs" in the US.

I'm trying to dispell the myth, with someone that I work with, that the Daddy Long Legs is one of the "most venemous spiders...but mouth to small to bite a person". Unfortunately, this person was told this myth by one of her High School Scientific Teachers. And of course, how could the science teacher be wrong...

From what I understand, the problem came about due to a spider in Austrailia that is also called a Daddy Long Legs, whose venom is highly toxic.

Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks

Big Dragonfly
I have heard this myth too... the most logical answer I heard was that they might be deadly or they might not. They can't bite people therefore there is no reports on their venom effects.

Who in their right mind will volunteer to have their venom injected in them when nobody knows its effects!

Guess we will never have a real answer to this one eh?
 

Henry Kane

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So far though, there is absolutely no scientific evidence documented anywhere to support the wive's tale.

Atrax
 

Cowshark

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As soon as they get disturbed, the go spinning around their thread fast as a small cyclone, sometimes at the same time as they go up and down their thread.
About a week ago, one of those guys was in the bathtub. I decided to rescue him, and scooped him up in my hands. Well, tried to. He did that vibrate and spaz thing, and landed back in the tub. It took three tries to transfer the goof, who landed on the back of the toilet and scurried off. The next day, I saw him (I think it was him, we have several cellar spiders in the house) hanging near the light fixture in the bathroom. At no point did it bite me. And really, why do so when the vibrating defense works so well? It was like trying to hold a highly caffienated snowflake.

So, hey, true anecdotal evidence here, FWIW.:D
 

Mojo Jojo

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Re: Re: Daddy Long Legs

Originally posted by Chris
I have heard this myth too... the most logical answer I heard was that they might be deadly or they might not. They can't bite people therefore there is no reports on their venom effects.

Who in their right mind will volunteer to have their venom injected in them when nobody knows its effects!

Guess we will never have a real answer to this one eh?
I think that it would be possible for a scientist to take a look at the structure of the venom (if there is venom) to see its content, and to then either compare it to other types of venom. Who knows, it could be some mystery cure for cancer...

Big Dragonfly
 

conipto

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Re: Re: Daddy Long Legs

Originally posted by Chris
Who in their right mind will volunteer to have their venom injected in them when nobody knows its effects!
I'll do it!

Laugh all you want, just wait until I am shooting webs and crawling up city walls!

Bill
 

najig21

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Oct 9, 2002
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High School and Daddy Long Legs

Being one of the few people to know ANYTHING about arachnids at my high school, I just love it when people come up and insist on false information being true. Amen, "if the Science Teacher says it, it must be right". Not always true. And don't get me wrong, I've been wrong before. Anywho, www.urbanlegends.com (plural. the singular is a film company) has a good report on this under their animal section.
 

Wade

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Aug 16, 2002
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Harvestmen, or Daddy Long Legs, (order Opiliones)are arachnids but are not spiders. They do not possess venom glands of any sort whatsover, let alone "deadly venom". Any suggestion that they do is just a myth. I am quite sure of this, as I will never forget the time I asked this very question at a cookout during the ATS conference in 1999. I was nearly laughed out of the place by several well known arachnologists, including Robert G. Breene and G. B. Edwards! One person sarcastically replied "Yeah, and tarnantulas lay eggs in cacti!", a reference to annother "urban legend". Of course, this doesn't mean that this myth isn't widely belived, even among people who should know better. I once saw a zookeeper on the National Geographic Channel repeat this myth as fact. My jaw dropped!

Now, to confuse the issue, there is a spider that is also known as "daddy long legs" (probably better called "cellar spiders"), those in the family Pholcidae. These can be distinguished from the harvestmen because pholcids have two distict body regions, while harvestmen appear to have only one (although it's really two). In addition, cellar spiders spin silk and are usually found hanging upside down webs, while harvestmen do not have silk glands. The only time you'll find a harvestmen in a web is if it's been captured by a spider!

Although pholcids do have venom glands, there is absolutely no evidence that it's dangerous to anyone other than the insects it preys upon.

Wade
 
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