Opiliones (Harvestmen)

Picture ID 56987

Picture of unidentified spider

Comments & ID Thoughts

I found this last night and the fangs were huge, it started biteing the wood and I could hear the fangs scraping. And today I managed to catch one in a Mason jar. I tried searching the web for it but no luck. How you can help ID it. Thanks

  • Submitted by: 
    Makak
  • Submitted: Apr 14, 2019
  • Photographed: Apr 14, 2019
  • Spider: Opiliones (Harvestmen)
  • Location: Ladera Ranch, California, United States
  • Spotted Outdoors: Man-made structure (building wall, fences, etc.)
  • Found in web?: No
  • Attributes:
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BugmanDan
Member

Hi, this is a harvestman, not true spiders. Order Opiliones, they are totally harmless, They have no fangs.
You may be mistaking the pedipalps for fangs, like tiny legs next to the face.
They are scavengers of decaing vegetation fiber, no surprise they might try chewing wood if hungry.
It is believed their mouth marts are not able to bite skin and bites are unheard of.
Docile enough to freely handle, just take care, their legs are very delicate.
(This guy does have an impressive set of pedipalps)
https://bugguide.net/node/view/2405/bgpage

BugmanDan
Member

Hi, yes, they are fangs, ‘sort of’ they are fixed and can’t penetrate a flat surface such as skin, Actually, overgrown tooth ridges on the mouth parts, Geared for chewing, not injecting venom.
In true spiders, the fangs can unfold, often far enough to go straight into skin with pressure applied to the spider. To see how that works, a giant house spider cleaning mouth parts after a meal:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sDxfwtbtYk
Trust me, unless you are a small soft insect, harvestman literally can’t bite, they don’t try.

TangledWeb
Member

That is an interesting difference between this Opilione arachnid and a spider. Opiliones can chew their food, but it can’t be large mammal-size. They can digest more internally, which is an advantage for them. The spiders’ advantage is paralysing venom. Spiders are arachnids that cannot chew food within their mouths. The spider fangs inject digestive juice into the prey to dissolve the guts into a liquid contained in an exoskeleton container. The spider drinks the digested food. It may store the bug as a beverage container and come back for extra portions.

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