Order Opiliones(Harvestmen or Daddy Longlegs)
Families of the Order Opiliones Discovered
in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Can't find the families you are looking for? Note:
Families on this list are only those contained
in the ATBI database,
and do not neccessarily include
all Park families from historic park reports, literature,
or other sources that have not yet been entered in the Biodiversity Database.
Also note: where the family name ends with '_family', it means that the family
name has not yet been agreed upon by taxonomists for this group,
or that it was not identified to this level.
In Case You Didn't Know ...
Amazingly, only one species of Daddy long-legs was known in the Park prior to the start of Discover Life in America. Since then 23 more have been added, including 2 entirely new species and 21 more species not previously known to be in the Park! Though we have discovered about two dozen species, there are about ten times that many known from North America, and 5000 world-wide. So our harvestmen hunt has only just begun.
These creatures are classified as Arachnids, but are not spiders.
Harvestmen, known to scientists as Opilionids, have the following characteristics.
1) Most have eight long, jointed legs.
2) A single round or oval body
3) A single pair of eyes
4) Not venomous, but prey on small insects and other tiny animals, or sometimes can be found scavenging dead animals or plant materials. Also, unlike spiders, they do not ingest liquified portions of their prey, but consume small chunks of food.
5) Unlike spiders they do not use webs
6) Mostly found on trees, walls, the ground, or in leaf litter
7) They are harmless to humans, but will secrete a strong odorous fluid if disturbed.