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Fast Fact: Daddy Long Legs

A daddy long legs might be one of the few spiders you recognize, so it might surprise you to learn they aren’t really spiders at all. Daddy long legs, which are also called harvestmen, are arachnids like spiders are. However, they are more closely related to ticks and scorpions than spiders.

A daddy long legs, also called a harvestman, isn't actually a spider. (Photo by Glenn P. Knoblock)

Why aren’t daddy long legs considered spiders? They don’t make silk, which all spiders do. And while all spiders have two distinct body parts, daddy long legs only have one. Spiders also have multiple pairs of eyes, but daddy long legs only have one pair. Daddy long legs use their long legs for walking, catching prey, smelling and even breathing. Their second pair of legs is longer than the rest, and they use them like antennae.

Daddy long legs eat things like mites, small eggs, small insects and roly-polies. They also eat plants, fungi, sap and sometimes even bird droppings. They get eaten too, often by birds, frogs and lizards.


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