Primordial Light: Phylum Arthropoda Page 3

Homo Sapiens and Phalangium opiliones, Harvestman or Daddy Long Legs
Reminder: Phalangium opiliones is not a spider. As my nephew, Rory (Homo sapiens) can attest, the harvestman has no fangs and cannot bite. Even if it could bite, it has no venom. And it has no silk glands. July 15, 2011.
I'm guessing that this is a male Harvestman because his chelicerae (the orange appendages that that the animal uses for grasping and that are visible in both photos) are quite long, and in male Harvestmen the chelicerae are frequently longer than in the females. If the Harvestman were a spider, these would be its fangs; they would be hollow and they would be connected to a venom gland. Note that the second leg on each side is very long (especially visible in the top photo). The Harvestman uses these legs as antennae as well as for locomotion.

Why is this person smiling?
We first encountered this Harvestman when my wife, Leona (also a Homo sapiens), and Rory and I were out under a pin oak tree (Quercus palustris) looking at various arthropods. The pin oak, like practically all trees, is a virtual zoo of arthropod life. The Harvestman apparently fell out of the tree onto Leona’s shoulder. She did not scream. She wanted to scream, but after I explained what a benign and placid individual the Harvestman is (assuming that you're not a small arthropod) Leona and the Harvestman settled down for a picture.

Chrysopidae, Green Lacewing Larva Video at
Friends, in the formalistic language of entomology we say “It don’t hardly never get no weirder than this.” Certain insect larvae are "debris carriers." This Green Lacewing larva is one such larva. It has covered itself with tiny bits of lichen, moss, bark, and bits of small arthropods that it has eaten, binding the debris with its silk. It is so well camouflaged that it is nearly impossible to see on the tree trunk unless it is moving.
green lacewing
Above you can see three of the larva’s six legs to the left of his debris cover. Below you can see the larva’s formidable jaws at the right. A close look at the edge of his debris coat below the jaws shows the remains of a couple of spiders. At left some strands of the silk that holds the debris coat together are visible.
lacewing larva

Halysidota tessellaris, Pale Tussock Moth Larva
Here is another of Rory’s discoveries on the bark of the pin oak.
First Arthropod Photo Page
Fourth Arthropod Photo Page
Fifth Arthropod Photo Page: The Spider’s Silk
Sixth Arthropod Photo Page
Bird Photos
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