Harvestmen

Opiliones

Summary 3

Opiliones (formerly Phalangida) are an order of arachnids commonly known as harvestmen. As of December 2011, over 6,500 species of harvestmen have been discovered worldwide, although the real number of extant species may exceed 10,000. The order Opiliones includes four suborders: Cyphophthalmi, Eupnoi, Dyspnoi, and Laniatores, and representatives of each can be found on every continent except Antarctica (with the exception of Dyspnoi, which is restricted to North America and Eurasia).
Harvestmen need humid places to live. They are most often found in forests and caves, climbing on rocks and vegetation.
Harvestmen eat very small invertebrates, and scavenge on larger dead ones and dead plant material.
An urban legend claims that the harvestman is the most venomous animal in the world,[6] but possesses fangs too short or a mouth too round and small to bite a human and therefore is not dangerous (the same myth applies to Pholcus phalangioides and the cranefly, which are both also called a 'daddy longlegs').[7] This is untrue on several counts. None of the known species of harvestmen have venom glands; their chelicerae are not hollowed fangs but grasping claws that are typically very small and not strong enough to break human skin.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) John Horstman, all rights reserved, uploaded by nataliemarisa, https://www.flickr.com/photos/itchydogimages/6850985459/?rb=1
  2. (c) Valter Jacinto, all rights reserved, uploaded by nataliemarisa, http://www.flickr.com/photos/valter/4688166593/
  3. Adapted by nataliemarisa from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opiliones

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