TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Things You May Not Know About Daddy Longlegs

First of all, they are not spiders.

Whether you call them “granddaddy longlegs,” “daddy longlegs,” “cellar spiders” or “harvestmen,” the creatures with a tiny body and eight very long legs are not spiders. However, it is an arachnid—just as scorpions are.

A common myth is that daddy longlegs are the most venomous creatures, but cannot bite humans because of their short fangs. The common daddy longlegs that we mostly see does not have venom.

There is a less common daddy longlegs spider, but because they rarely bite, scientists have not studied the myth. However, Nature reports that the team of the Discovery Channel show “Mythbusters” got an expert to milk the venom and compare its effect on mice (a standard test for venoms) to the effect of the same amount of black widow venom. Black widows were far more deadly. In addition, Adam Savage allowed himself to be bitten by a daddy longlegs—not only was it able to bite him, but he barely felt the bite and suffered no ill after effects.

Back to the daddy longlegs arachnids, they have a tendency to shed their legs. They will voluntarily shed legs to get away from predators, but sadly, a new appendage does not grow back if it is already full grown. The reason this is sad is their legs are also nerve centers, according to ThoughtCo. Through its legs, the daddy longlegs may sense vibrations, smells and tastes, so pulling the legs off may be taking away a sense or senses.
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