Harvestmen, commonly known as “Daddy Longlegs,” superficially resemble, and are often misidentified for spiders, though they are not closely related. Spiders can be identified by their two body segments, while harvestmen have just one.
While harvestmen are common around my house, especially in late Summer and early Autumn, this particular type I’ve only seen while out-of-state, at Carter Caves, Kentucky and while visiting Snake Road in southern Illinois.
Ornate Harvestmen are omnivorous, mostly eating small insects and a wide variety of plant material and fungi; they also are scavengers and feed on dead organisms.
As their name implies, these are more “fancy” than the species of harvestman that I typically find. The Ornate Harvestmen’s intricate details and pattern make it an intriguing find while out and about looking for reptiles.
Harvestmen are among the most ancient of arachnids, fossils indicate they were living on land over 400 million years ago.