Field Stories

Many Looong Legs
By Sheetal Kolhe Navgire | May 01, 2015

“Look! Sloth bear hair!” called out my teammate, pointing to a large clump of what appeared to be tangled hair hanging from the trunk of a fallen tree. The rest of us quickened our pace to take a closer look at the strange sight. What we saw was incredible! Hundreds of spider-like invertebrates were piled on top of each other! A gentle breeze below and suddenly they scattered – running in different directions. Cameras clicking frantically, we took as many pictures as we could of the critters so that we could examine them later. When we returned to our base, we took a look at our photographs and determined that it had been a congregation of “Harvestmen” more commonly known as “Daddy Long Legs”. They are arachnids, but not spiders, and have bead-like bodies suspended from eight very thin legs. Their second pair of legs double as antennae and they use them as sensors when they walk. They are usually found in dark, moist places and sure enough, once we knew where to look for them, we started seeing them in culverts and broken pipes throughout the forest!


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