eastern harvestman

(Leiobunum vittatum)

Conservation Status
eastern harvestman
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Eastern harvestman is a common, large, easily recognized harvestman. It occurs in the United States and southern Canada from the east coast to the Great Plains. In Minnesota it is common in the wooded eastern region, uncommon in the western prairie region.

Males have a body length of 316 to ¼ (5 to 7 mm). Females are larger, with a body length of ¼ to 516 (7 to 8.5 mm).

The body is soft, compact, oval, and golden yellow to dark reddish-brown. There are often many light yellow and black markings on the sides. On the upper side there is a large, distinct, dark figure. In summer the figure contrasts sharply with the lighter background. As the season progresses both sexes become progressively darker. By mid-fall they can be almost black. The upper side of the body is mostly unarmed. The front part of the body (carapace) does not have a protuberance on the front margin. The abdomen has ten segments. It is long and pointed at the end. The under side (ventner) of the female is pale.

There are two simple eyes and no compound eyes. Each eye is mounted atop a small, rounded protuberance (tubercle). A pair of segmented, finger-like, sensory appendages (palps) attached to the mouth are very long on the male. The “knees” of the palps extend well above the optical tubercle. On the female the palps are shorter. The last segment of the palp (tarsus) is either blackish or light yellow.

The legs are extremely long and slender. The leg length is variable. Each leg consists of a coxa, trochanter, femur, patella, tibia, metatarsus, tarsus and claw. The trochanter and the base of the femur are dark brown to black, which contrasts sharply with the pale coxa. The patella is short and dark. There is also a dark band at the outer end of the tibia. On the female the legs are light brown with contrasting dark rings. On the male the legs are dark brown and less contrasting.

Three subspecies have been described based on leg length and color of the tarsus of the palp.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Female Body Length: ¼ to 516 (7 to 8.5 mm)

Male Body Length: 316 to ¼ (5 to 7 mm)

Legspan: Variable

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Forests, woodlands, parks, and yards.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Juveniles appear in June. Adults are seen from July until the first frost in the fall.

 
     
 

Food

 
 

Dead insects and plant matter.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 24, 29, 30.

 
  5/1/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Arachnida (arachnids)  
 

Order

Opiliones (harvestmen)  
 

Suborder

Eupnoi  
 

Superfamily

Phalangioidea  
 

Family

Sclerosomatidae  
 

Subfamily

Leiobuninae  
 

Genus

Leiobunum  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

eastern harvestman (Leiobunum vittatum dorsatum)

eastern harvestman (Leiobunum vittatum minor)

eastern harvestman (Leiobunum vittatum vittatum)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

eastern harvestman

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Carapace

The hard, upper (dorsal), shell-like covering (exoskeleton) of the body or at least the thorax of many arthropods and of turtles and tortoises. In crustaceans, it covers the cephalothorax.

 

Palp

Short for pedipalp. A segmented, finger-like process of an arthropod; one is attached to each maxilla and two are attached to the labium. They function as sense organs in spiders and insects, and as weapons in scorpions. Plural: palpi or palps.

 

Patella

The fourth segment of a spider leg, after the femur and before the tibia.

 

 

 
 
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Alfredo Colon

 
    eastern harvestman   eastern harvestman  
           
    eastern harvestman   eastern harvestman  
           
    eastern harvestman   eastern harvestman  
           
    eastern harvestman   eastern harvestman  
           
    eastern harvestman      
           
           
 

With so many long legs, mating seems complicated.

 
    eastern harvestman   eastern harvestman  
           
    eastern harvestman      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
    eastern harvestman   eastern harvestman  
           

 

Camera

     
 
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slideshow

       
 
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Other Videos
 
  Close views of female Harvestman (Leiobunum vittatum)
Nature in Motion
 
   
 
About

Oct 18, 2016

Harvestmen are an order of arachnids often confused with spiders, though the two are not closely related. Arachnids (Arachnida) » Harvestmen (Opiliones) » Eupnoi » Phalangioidea » Sclerosomatidae » Leiobunum » vittatum species group (Leiobunum vittatum species group) » Leiobunum vittatum

AKA Daddy-long-legs/Granddaddy-long-legs, Harvest Spiders, or Shepherd Spiders.

Music: Tick Tock

 
  Eastern Harvestman (Leiobunum vittatum) aka Daddy Long Legs, Harvest Spider
Animalogy EC
 
   
 
About

Aug 12, 2020

Related to spiders however Eastern Harvesters are not a spider. They do not have fangs, are not venomous and do not bite. Their mandibles are too small to bite a person.

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this arachnid.

 
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  Alfredo Colon
6/1/2021

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

eastern harvestman

 
  Alfredo Colon
8/14/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

eastern harvestman

 
  Alfredo Colon
8/13/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

eastern harvestman

 
  Alfredo Colon
8/6/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

eastern harvestman

 
  Alfredo Colon
8/2/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

eastern harvestman

 
  Alfredo Colon
August 2019

Location: Slinger, Wisconsin

eastern harvestman

 
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

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Created: 5/1/2021

Last Updated:

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