For many animals, their odd appearance and physical characteristics are actually an intelligently designed defense mechanism. The daddy longlegs is no exception. Their long legs serve several specific purposes and they are more than willing to give them up if needed.
While most people think of daddy longlegs as spiders, their closest cousin is actually a scorpion. In addition, they might look like they have eight legs, they actually have six legs and two long feelers appear to act like front legs. As they walk, only three of their legs are ever touching the ground at once. This is surprising considering how nimble they look as they move.
Avoiding Danger and Surviving Predators
Daddy longlegs use their long, flexible legs to stay well above the forest floor and hopefully away from danger. Their legs are perfect for any terrain and make them excellent climbers. If they do run into danger, their first line of defense is to automatically detach one of their legs. That’s right, they have an internal system that drops a leg at the slightest sign of pressure. This creates a distraction and gives them a head start on their prey.
Unfortunately, once a leg has been sacrificed for survival, it doesn’t grow back. That forces the arachnid to adapt to a new gait and. In fact, they are capable of losing up to three out of their six legs and still being able to survive. They are full of compensatory mechanisms that take over and allow them to stay alive. Scientists don’t believe that this process is painful and it involves a minimal loss of blood.
Daddy longlegs are truly incredible creatures and not a threat to humans. However, if you are dealing with other invasive insects, spiders, or rodents, the experts at PMi Pest Management can help. We have the skills and experience to help with all your pest control needs.