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Author Topic: DADDY LONG LEGS (CRANE FLYS)  (Read 33252 times)

Offline _Stefan_

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DADDY LONG LEGS (CRANE FLYS)
« Reply #25 on: 08/05/2007 08:22:52 »
Aww don't kill the daddy long legs... they actually help keep the numbers of other more dangerous spiders down. Well, the ones we call daddy long legs in Australia are beneficial:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellar_spider
 

Offline _Stefan_

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DADDY LONG LEGS (CRANE FLYS)
« Reply #26 on: 08/05/2007 08:29:37 »
Aww don't kill the daddy long legs... they actually help keep the numbers of other more dangerous spiders down. Well, the ones we call daddy long legs in Australia are beneficial:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellar_spider
 

paul.fr

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DADDY LONG LEGS (CRANE FLYS)
« Reply #27 on: 08/05/2007 09:18:45 »
Okay, I just need to clear something up for myself. Is the nickname(common name) for a crane fly daddylong legs in England?

Because in Canada a daddy long legs is a spider, the one that supposedly has the deadliest venom, but their fangs are to weak to pierce human skin. And a crane fly is a flying insect that looks like a giant mosquito. Is this post referring to two separate creepy bugs?

The following, should clear up the myths and differences between what we know as and call the "spider"


Quote
My little 7-year-old daughter, Lola, shared a secret with me. "Did you know, Daddy", she said very solemnly, "Daddy Long Legs spiders are the most poisonous spiders in the world, but they can't hurt us because their fangs are too short to get through our skin". She knew this, because her 7-year-old friend India told her, and India heard it from Charlie, her 10-year-old sister - so it had to be right. But the kids were wrong in four ways, which has to be some kind of record for such a short sentence.

This myth is known around the world, not just in Australia. Most people know the Daddy Long Legs as a spider-like creature, roughly the size of a 20 cent coin, with a tiny body and long spindly legs spanning roughly the size of a 20-cent coin.

The first mistake that the kids made in their Daddy Long Legs story is that not all Daddy Long Legs are spiders - some are, and some aren't. The Class Arachnida has many Orders in it. For example, there is an Order for spiders (Order Araneae), an Order for scorpions (Order Scorpiones), and an Order for opilionids (Order Opiliones).

Now, some Daddy Long Legs are opilionids. In this case, they are also called long legged harvestmen. At a casual glance, these opilionids look a little like spiders - but they are not spiders (because they do not belong to the Order Araneae). Opilionids have two eyes (not eight like the spiders do), one body section (spiders have two), and an abdomen that is clearly separated into segments (spiders' abdomens are unsegmented). They do not make silk, and they have a very different respiratory system from spiders.

However, in the Order of spiders, there is one real spider that looks like your classic Daddy Long Legs, so it gets called Daddy Long Legs. Its official name is Pholcus phalangoides.

Inside your house a Daddy Long Legs is probably a spider. But in dark damp places like the shed, it's more likely to be a harvestman.

Second mistake, "poisonous"? Well, let me be a little pedantic (in the name of science). Strictly speaking, "poisonous" means that the creature exudes poison from its skin or shell, from where it lands on your skin, and continues its nasty work. But if you talk about a creature that injects poison through your skin into the soft layers underneath, the correct word is "venomous".

But what the heck, the English language is continually changing, and I can let the kids get away with this one.

But the third mistake, "most poisonous" or "most venomous"? Well Opilionids do not have poison glands. They definitely do not have fangs through which to squirt their non-existent poison.

There are about 20,000 different species of spider on the planet, and only about 50 are venomous. The American Black Widow and the Australian Funnel Web are heavy hitters. The spider Pholcus phlangoides (or Daddy Long Legs) is a lightweight. It took many years for anybody to bother to get the toxin.

You do this (as seen on the TV show, Mythbusters) by anaesthetising the spider with carbon dioxide, and then delicately applying tiny electric shocks to the appropriate bit of the spider. You then place a very thin glass pipe up against the fangs, and you can collect about two billionths of a litre of toxin per spider. When you do this a few hundred times, you get enough toxin to test - but it turns out to be incredibly weak, barely worthy of being counted as a poison.

The fourth mistake is about the fangs being too short to penetrate your skin. Once again, the TV show Mythbusters actually measured the fangs (on one spider, which is a small sample size, but it's a start). Their spider-wrangler, Chuck Kristensen, found that the fangs were 0.25 mm long. But skin (especially on non-contact areas) can be as thin as 0.10 mm.

A Mythbusters host, Adam Savage (terrified of spiders) bravely put his entire arm into a perspex box filled with what seemed to be hundreds of the spider version of Daddy Long Legs. After what seemed an eternity, one bit him - and he lived, complaining only of a mild sting.

So why the bad rap for the Daddy Long Legs? Spiders have some very hairy image problems, and should cut back on the web spinning, and go all out on the spin doctoring.

Karl S. Kruszelnicki Pty Ltd 2006.

 

Offline kdlynn

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« Reply #28 on: 09/05/2007 05:54:34 »
there is no way that anybody could ever pay me enough to stick my hand in any box that had spiders of any type in it. ever. they are absolutely my worst fear. could be cuz i was bitten by a brown recluse a few years ago. that was the worst experience ever.
 

Offline Carol-A

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« Reply #29 on: 09/05/2007 12:15:16 »
In the UK the daddy long legs is a crane fly (insect) and in the US it is a Harvestman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvestman, a non poisonous spider.
 

Offline Seany

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« Reply #30 on: 09/05/2007 21:07:52 »
Okay, I just need to clear something up for myself. Is the nickname(common name) for a crane fly daddylong legs in England?

Because in Canada a daddy long legs is a spider, the one that supposedly has the deadliest venom, but their fangs are to weak to pierce human skin. And a crane fly is a flying insect that looks like a giant mosquito. Is this post referring to two separate creepy bugs?

We have spiders here in the UK which are called Daddy Long Legs. I think that is its real name.

However, we also call Crane Flies daddy long legs, simply because most people do not know the name of it - crane fly. Also, it looks similar, apart from the wing and worm-like body! LOL
 

Offline Guttedpiggy

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« Reply #31 on: 09/05/2007 21:40:11 »
yeah, daddy long legs are gay, theres always a certain time of the year when there everywhere, all over out fields and stuff,,, buttt i always thought it was called daddy long legs because they have mahusivly big legs in comparison to thier bodies, and because as a child your dad is massive there for has long legs, well thats what i think anyway
 

Offline Karen W.

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« Reply #32 on: 11/05/2007 06:39:05 »
Oh oops! I just read Karen's post and she'll hate me for what I've written now!! Hee hee!!!!

I don't hate anybody in this world Seany!

I do however fear those daddy long leg spiders, not crane flys.. LOL I was posting on spiders sorry if I am always off topic!
 

Offline tony6789

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« Reply #33 on: 22/05/2007 17:58:36 »
daddy long legs are cute! lol
 

Offline Queequeg

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DADDY LONG LEGS (CRANE FLYS)
« Reply #34 on: 22/05/2007 18:54:11 »
Daddy long legs, or Harvestmen, are actually related to spiders inasmuch as both spiders and harvestmen are groups of Arachnids.  However, spiders (Araneae) and Harvestmen (Opiliones) are distinct and separate groups.  The common name "Crane Fly" could and often is, be applied to several families of long-antenna-ed flies but it is generally understood to refer to members of the family Tipulidae. The larvae (maggots) of these guys, btw, are pretty important consumers of of fallen leaves in water of small streams.  They are called Leatherjackets after their brown, tough, and flexible cuticle.
 

Offline Seany

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DADDY LONG LEGS (CRANE FLYS)
« Reply #35 on: 22/05/2007 22:32:19 »
daddy long legs are cute! lol


I agree. But I still enjoy torturing them. ;)
 

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DADDY LONG LEGS (CRANE FLYS)
« Reply #35 on: 22/05/2007 22:32:19 »

 

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