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I found these two mini-beasties lurking on the outside of my building the other day. They may look like spiders but they’re not really – they’re Harvestmen (Opiliones species). Unlike true spiders, Harvestmen can’t spin webs and their bodies have only one segment, not two. They’re completely harmless – no venom – and, I think, rather prehistoric looking.

181217 harvestmen (1)

And I just discovered this very interesting but slightly creepy snippet of information about them on the UK Safari website:

When attacked, harvestmen are able to shed a leg as a defensive trick. Even after the leg becomes detached from the body it continues to jump and flick about. This distracts the predator while the harvestman makes its escape. They are able to shed up to four legs in this way, but they need to retain at least one of the sensory legs to survive.

181217 harvestmen (2)