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Eastern Harvestman (Leiobunum vittatum)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Eastern Harvestman.


 Updated: 3/1/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org



  Eastern Harvestman  
Picture of Eastern-Harvestman
Picture of Eastern-Harvestman Picture of Eastern-HarvestmanPicture of Eastern-HarvestmanPicture of Eastern-HarvestmanPicture of Eastern-HarvestmanPicture of Eastern-Harvestman


The eight-legged Eastern Harvestman is a harmless type of arachnid that unfortunately suffers from its kinship to spiders.





Harvestman are not spiders, though they resemble them in many ways. They are relatives of the spider in that they are both from the same Order. The Harvestman does not have fangs, are not venomous, and do not bite. Their mandibles are far too small for humans to feel any kind of sensation should they even try. Their eight long, spindly legs do more for them than help them travel. The second pair of legs act like antennae and are very sensitive. This second pair of legs also helps a Harvestman capture prey, as well as smell surroundings and even breathe (through holes on their legs called spiracles). If the second pair of legs are lost, the Harvestman will die. The body of a Harvestman is completely fused and round, not segmented like other arachnids.

Harvestman are well camouflaged in their habitat and some species have the ability to spray a pungent scent from a gland between their first pairs of legs. Perhaps the most bewildering form of defense against a predator is self-amputation. A Harvestman will remove one of its own legs (not one from the critical second pair, however) to distract a predator. The removed leg can twitch for up to an hour, allowing the Harvestman time to escape. Sadly, the leg cannot grow back so it is a costly form of self-protection.

Males actually have a penis that is used to deposit sperm. After mating, females deposit fertilized eggs with an ovipositor in deep moss, moist soil, or rotten wood. Individual adults will huddle together on cold autumn nights to keep warm. They are nocturnal and are usually seen roaming forest floors and stone walls, but sometimes are found indoors in dark places like garages, cellars, and basements. Adults eat insects, worms, and snails, and even try to make a meal from dead prey they encounter.
Basic Information
Common Name: Eastern Harvestman
Other Name(s): Daddy Long Legs, Harvest Spider
Scientific Name: Leiobunum vittatum
Category: Spider


General Identification
Size (Adult; Length): 6mm to 8mm (0.23in to 0.31in)
Colorwheel Graphic
Identifying Colors: brown; black
Additional Descriptors: long, thin, legs, round




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Opiliones
Family: Leiobunidae
Genus: Leiobunum
Species: vittatum


Spider Anatomy (Typical)
Graphic showing basic parts of spider anatomy
1
Legs: Spiders have four pairs of legs and these are attached to the cephalothorax.
2
Pedipalps: Small appendages near the mouth used as taste and smell organs.
3
Cephalothorax: Contains eyes, head, mouthparts, and legs.
4
Abdomen: Contains various organs related to digestion, reproduction, and web-making.
5
Spinnerets: Used in the production of spider silk for fashioning webs or catching prey.
NOTE: Unlike insects, spiders have both an endoskeleton (internal) and exoskeleton (external).


Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed below as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections below indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico


Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)
The map below showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Eastern Harvestman may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
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State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


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