Guess what…. I’m buying a real camera soon! This means that I’ll finally be able to be a real ento-blogger, educating the world about all the cool critters out there 🙂
In the meantime, here are a few pictures I’ve taken over the past year of spiders (and other arachnids) using my current camera (my iPhone). Enjoy!
Hamataliwa! La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica
A jumper on a rainbow eucalyptus in San Jose, Costa Rica
Cool Costa Rican Salticid
A trapdoor spider that wandered into my house in Austin, TX
Oh hello little Harvestman
Phidippus from Lake Tawakoni, TX
A cutie I found on the road in CR one day.
Me and Argiope 🙂 Corcovado, Costa Rica
Scorpion right after its molt!
Eriophora at La Selva Biological Station
Harvestman showing down
What a beauty!
This Thomisidae was very good at camouflaging herself…
Another beautiful, Costa Rican lynx spider 🙂
Spotted scurrying through a Texas wildflower field.
OK so “Misconception Tuesday” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as “Misconception Monday”, but it will have to do for this week.
So what is the misconception of the day? That all “Daddy Long Legs” are spiders.
Well, for some of the organisms that humans call “Daddy Long Legs”, this is, in fact, true. These spiders, also commonly known as Cellar Spiders, like to build their webs in cool, damp, dark spaces, or even in houses, where you have probably seen them lurking in the corners above your bed (errr, maybe that’s just me). However, there is another group of organisms that people call “Daddy Long Legs”, which are actually not spiders (Araneae) at all. They are part of a different arachnid order called Opiliones (commonly, Harvestmen).
So, how can you tell the difference between a DLL-spider and a DLL-harvestmen? It’s simple: Harvestmen do not have silk glands, and cannot spin webs. Therefore, if you see a long-legged individual in a web, it is likely a spider. What if the individual is not in a web? Well, it is still fairly easy to tell the two apart based on the shapes of their bodies:
As you can see, the Harvestman on the left has a much rounder body, with less apparent segmentation. On the other hand,we can clearly see the segmentation in the spider between the cephalothorax and the abdomen. And of course, we can see why both are called Daddy Long Legs 🙂