It's finally ! Here's a plump harvie sitting on a leaf. Like scorpions and mites, these arachnids are not spiders but in their own group, Opiliones. They don't make silk or have venom.

We called these "daddy-long-legs" where I grew up, which is a nickname also applied to cellar spiders and crane flies. They are also called harvestmen. Some arachnologists I follow call them harvestpeople. I am calling them "harvies" for short.


day 2: a lovely spotted orbweaver, Neoscona crucifera, found in Trinity-Bellwoods Park in Toronto. She was nested in a thistle next to an impressive web. These spiders are widespread throughout North America but I've only found a few here; more southerly perhaps?

They aren't the showiest spiders, but this photo shows how warm sun makes their golden-brown colour pop.


, day 3: Zygiella! A.k.a. "missing sector orbweaver" for their distinctive webs. They have yellowish bodies and abdomens with a silvery or cream-coloured "leaf" marking on top and a "blush" of red (sometimes vivid, sometimes almost completely desaturated) around the sides. ๐Ÿ˜

day 4: the tiniest little white crab spider on the City Hall green roof, with even tinier prey! ๐Ÿ˜

day 5: Psaturday pseudoscorpions from under a rock in the garden. Family Neobisiidae perhaps?

Pseudoscorpions are one of the lesser known arachnid orders. These tiny creatures top out at ~8mm not counting claws; these were maybe ~1mm. They live everywhere from the Arctic to the tropics, but are so tiny and their habitats (under rocks, bark, etc.) so cryptic they are rarely seen. ๐Ÿ˜

day 6: Psunday pseudoscorpion!!! This one was very round, gravid [pregnant with eggs], maybe? They are said to carry their eggs under their abdomen but I've never been lucky enough to see it myself. ๐Ÿ˜

day 7 (honestly amazed at how long I've kept this up): Larinioides spiderling ballooning from a park bench. We (humans) have only recently figured out that it was possible for spiders to use electrostatic repulsion to lift off into the air - and then experimentally verify it. ๐Ÿ˜

day 8: a Larinioides' spiky leg, and her clawed feet. (The white thing is a silken sac, probably for sleep or molting or whatever, from a previous inhabitant of the railing.) ๐Ÿ˜

day 9: Larinioides orbweavers mating! Upon maturing the males leave their webs and go roaming for females to court. Courtship involves web-plucking and a lot of waiting. ๐Ÿ˜


day 10: how sad, it is and all I have is a photo of this ant. This perfectly normal ant with six legs and two antennae. Just don't look too closely... ๐Ÿ˜

ยท ยท Tusky ยท 1 ยท 2 ยท 6

day 11: male Zygiella! I think Z. atrica because of those long pedipalps but I'm not sure. ๐Ÿ˜

day 12: a sheet-web weaver, family Linyphiidae. These spiders can be very small and their finely woven webs are often low down, suspended in long grass or hollows in trees. ๐Ÿ˜

day 13: a snout mite (family Bdellidae) found under a fallen piece of willow bark. I liked the contrast between the bluish lichen and the red-orange mite glowing in the afternoon sun.

day 14: nothing says "autumn" like harvies (opilionids) in goldenrod! Second pic is the area I found it, the little stretch of shore between the Boulevard Club and the Legion.

day 15: "Back off--don't come a step closer--or--I'll--run away!!" A running crab spider (family Philodromidae) squares up on a Queen Anne's Lace plant.

day 17: "What's this?" A Larinioides orbweaver examines my finger. When bored I will poke at them or put my finger in their way, and in all my years of doing this, not a single one has bitten me. They either run away, or quickly figure out the finger is not food and lose interest.

day 18: "Okay little buddy, you killed it, it's dead." Luring out a fierce little hacklemesh weaver with a feather taped to a sonic toothbrush. Try it at home! (Linking bc it's a video.)

day 19: love at the No Frills. After grocery shopping I spotted these courting Larinioides. Then I ended up explaining spider mating in a bit too much detail to some random dude. Then he offered me a chili pepper from an old margarine tub. , baby.

day 20: the best thing I saw on tonight's walk was two red velvet mites sharing an aphid, "Lady and the Tramp"-style.

day 21: more of the hacklemesh weavers that live in the Queen & Dufferin underpass. They can be found by looking for their distinctive fuzzy webbing. I also saw signs of New Democrats, of which there's a very healthy local population.

day 22: little zebra jumping spider looks meditative as she eats an aphid and idly scratches herself. Link bc video!

Belated day 23: leetle spider, hacklemesh weaver I think, back-combing silk. Found that night when someone's fucking car alarm kept going off and I wandered the neighbourhood at like 3 A.M. to find the car and leave an angry note.


day 24: this is from about a month ago, at the height of Zygiella mating season. Males hang at the periphery of females' webs, patiently plucking out courtship songs. Returning home one night, I saw one single-minded suitor had fallen prey to a young male yellow sac spider! Look at his face in the last pic, like, "...What??"

day 25: I don't think I've done a pirate spider so far! Spiders in this family, Mimetidae, specialize in eating other spiders, plucking at webs to lure out the occupants. I think this one is probably Mimetus puritanus. Only a few mm long in body length, found under a milkweed leaf in the garden.

day 26: try looking inside a Queen Anne's Lace, you never know what you'll find! Like this cute little bold jumping spider in its silken shelter.

day 27: meet the stunningly beautiful arabesque orbweaver, Neoscona arabesca. So far I've just found them around Humber Bay Park, where this photo was taken a month ago.

day 28: a lovely wolf spider (Trochosa sp.?) found while rock flipping. She ran off before I could get a second photo so I'm really glad this one turned out decent!

day 29: a male furrow orbweaver guarding what seems to be an egg sac in a sumac bob. This isn't the first time I've found male Larinioides with egg sacs, I wonder if it's a thing.

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