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Scientific Classification
The Phalangids or Opiliones, (better known as "harvestmen" or "daddy longlegs") are eight-legged invertebrate animals belonging to the order Opiliones in the class Arachnida, in the subphylum Chelicerata of the phylum Arthropoda.

The name "daddy longlegs" can also refer to insects in two other orders: the crane fly (Tipulidae) and the cellar spider (Pholcidae).

Table of contents
1 Physical description
2 Behavior
3 A poisonous myth

Physical description

These harmless arachnids are known for their exceptionally long walking legs, compared to body size. The difference between harvestmen and spiders is that in harvestmen the two main body sections (the prosoma and opisthosoma) are nearly joined, so that they appear to be one structure. They have two eyes, oriented sideways. They have scent glands that secrete a peculiar smelling fluid when disturbed. Harvestmen do not have poison or silk glands.

Most species live for a year or two.


Many species are omnivorous, eating primarily small insects; some are scavengers. Mating involves direct copulation, rather than the deposition of a spermatophore.

A poisonous myth

There is an urban legend claiming that the daddy longlegs is the most poisonous spider in the world, only its fangs are too small to bite a human, and is thus not actually dangerous. This is untrue on several counts. First, phalangids are not spiders, and secondly, they don't have any poison glands at all!

As of 2000, over 5,000 species of Phalangids have been described worldwide.