Daddy Long Leg

Daddy Long Leg(100176)
Credit: Jared Davidson

Daddy Long Leg myths

First we need to examine this myth and make sure we are talking about the same creature.  What most people in the United States refer to as a Daddy Long Leg is really a Harvestman.  Harvestmen are a type of arachnid that look very similar to a spider but they are not spiders. Their are a few species of spiders that are sometimes referred to Daddy Long Legs and none of them are deadly.  Again most people in the United States refer to a Harvestman as a Daddy Long Leg.

Spiders are a type of arachnid.  A spider has two body parts and eight legs.  The head is known as the Prosoma or Cephalothorax.  The second body part is known as the Opisthosoma or Abdomen.  All spiders have these two body parts.  To be classified as a spider no more or less then two body parts can make up the arachnid.  The spider also must have 8 legs.  Other arachnids may have varying degrees of body parts and legs.  Centipedes, scorpions, ticks, mites and millipedes are a few examples of arachnids with more or less legs and body parts.

The Harvestman only has one body part.  This means it is not a spider.  It is an arachnid but not classified as a spider because it lacks the required pieces to be considered a spider.  The Harvestman does indeed have 8 legs which is why a lot of people confuse them for spiders.  Harvestmen do not produce silk so they are never found in a web.  These creatures are generally found in the eve of houses, in cellars or under logs in moist areas.

Let’s say you ignore the fact that what is commonly referred to as a Daddy Long Leg is not a spider.  Is the Harvestman poisonous?  Harvestmen have no venom glands, so it is impossible for them to be venomous.    If you are referring to other spiders that are sometime called Daddy Long legs, well then there have been no known cases of these spiders causing any serious damage when biting a human.

Regardless if you are talking about Harvestmen or Daddy Long Leg spiders, neither are deadly and none have ever been documented to have killed anyone.  So the next time you hear someone say that a Daddy Long Legs is the most venomous spider in the world, you can correct them.


Credit: Jared Davidson