True Daddy Long Legs spiders aren’t spiders at all. These arachnids, similar to the mite and tick family are prevalent in the fall during “harvest” time, when they can be nuisances, due to their clustering habit and an unpleasant, defensive odor they emit.
Harvestmen or daddy long legs, of the Opilones, formerly Phalangia order of arachnids are found worldwide, except in Antarctica and include 10,000 species. Growing to ¼ inch long, unlike spiders, which have two main body sections, harvestmen only have one. However, like spiders, harvestmen do possess eight legs and harvestmen legs are much longer than spiders’ legs. Harvestmen also have two eyes positioned on a little knob on their heads as opposed to spiders that have eight eyes.
Contrary to popular beliefs and urban legends, harvestmen are harmless to humans, as they do not possess venom glands. Harvestmen live in fields and forests, in tree trunks or on the ground. Harvestmen, with no venom glands like spiders, eat a wide variety of foods, including: aphids, caterpillars, beetles, flies, mites, small slugs, snails, earthworms, spiders, other harvestmen, decaying plant and animal matter, bird droppings and fungi.
The harvestmen’s super long legs play an important role for these arachnids, as they function as their sensory organs. Harvestmen legs, especially the second pair, serve as ears, nose, and tongue; research indicates they may function as supplementary eyes. Chock full of nerves and thousands of tiny sense organs that lie inside microscopic slits in the legs, losing a leg for daddy long legs or harvestmen can be fairly serious.