Thursday, September 20, 2012

Momentary distraction

I've had a very exciting day, beachcombing and finding two different mystery creatures. They've been made comfortable here, had their portraits done, and have met their tankmates. I still have to sort photos, trim a video, and do some id work. I'll have some of that ready for you tomorrow.

For now, I'm too tired to see straight.

Here's a harvestman who scrambled across my feet while I was taking photos of a squirmy, tentacled something or other:

Unusually, around here, he has all eight of his legs.

Zooming in.

And then I zoomed back to the critter leaving a slime trail around the walls of my tank.

Update: he's a male Phalangium opilio. Thanks to Christopher.


  1. ah, so do you have cats? My cats, which are indoor kitties, tend to, uh, restyle spiders re: # of legs. They seem to prefer 5 or so. Poor spideys.

    I'm looking forward to viewing your haul! =)

  2. what camera / microscope are you using for these photos?

  3. biobabbler; No, no cats. :(
    I don't know what damages the harvestmen. It ain't me.

    Mark, Usually, just the little Nikon CoolPix P7000. Sometimes, I add a lens I put together from bits and pieces, but not for these ones; they were simple, lean down and shoot, then back to business shots.

    On occasion, I use Laurie's Pentax, or my old pocket-sized Sony.

  4. And finally, for once, I can tell you an actual species! This is _Phalangium opilio_, about as close to a classic harvestman as you can get. Males (like this one) of this species are recognisable from the horn on the top of the chelicerae. _Phalangium opilio_ is a very widespread species, found in both Eurasia and North America, though it's a bit uncertain whether the North American populations are native or whether they represent a very early introduction by humans.

    Harvestmen do lose legs at the drop of a hat; with few offensive capabilities, it's one of their primary defense mechanisms.

  5. Thanks, Christopher! It was nice that he stopped in a nice, bright area on the floor, and waited for me.


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