This even creeps ME out a little

I give you: a giant aggregation of Daddy Long Legs, also known as Opiliones. The coolest thing about this is that no one really knows WHY they form these aggregations.  Is it predator defense? Thermoregulation? Maximizing their smelly gland effects? A plot to totally creep us all out?

I smell a dissertation in this!

EDITED TO ADD: I don’t think I was clear enough that these actually aren’t spiders–they are in a separate group. They do, however, have a lot of very long legs, and provoke the sorts of reactions spiders do.  They don’t have venom or silk glands, and they don’t make webs.  They will eat just about anything they can grab.

15 thoughts on “This even creeps ME out a little

  1. Okay, yeah, that’s a bit much. I’m cool with individual harmless arthropods. Once I’m outnumbered by 100 or so, I start having problems :s

  2. I kind of like a Hassle of Harvestmen, Alex. Or, in this case, perhaps an OMFG of Opiliones.

    And I don’t think I was clear enough that these aren’t, technically, spiders–I added a bit more info on the taxonomy for everyone.

  3. To quote Bug Girl: OMFG! I think it wouldn’t be nearly so freaky (and I heart spiders and spider-like things) if the videographer hadn’t dislodged a hunk of harvestmen to fall pretty much ONTO the camera (eek!). Plus, I’m such a hands-off person re: wildlife I wouldn’t want to disturb them, but a benefit of that philosophy is, as I now see, exposure to fewer freak-tastic things. Yeesh!!!

  4. Wow, that brings back memories of girl scout camp. Sleeping on wooden platforms with canvas walls in central Texas… and the ceiling would pulsate if something disturbed the hundreds of ever-present daddy long legs above your head. We became rather used to them. :-)

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  6. I think it should be used just like an ink blot test to reveal personality traits. Show the video to the person to be analyzed and judge their response.
    An empathetic person might say that they are all having a big group hug while an extremely horny person might say its a big bug orgy, etc.

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