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UK Nature > Harvestmen > Phalangium opilio




Scientific Name: Phalangium opilio
Common Name: Harvestman

The harvestmen most frequently seen are species of Opilio, Odiellus and Leiobunum that live in hedgerows, parks and gardens amongst rough vegetation or on tree trunks, walls and fences. All are moderately large, the body up to about 10 mm long, and more or less brownish in colour. Most species are nocturnal, though often seen resting on walls and fences by day, with legs spread widely and almost invisible.

Harvestmen feed on a wide range of living and dead animal matter, mainly comprised of small invertebrates (insect larvae, mites, young spiders, etc., or their dead remains), although they sometimes also attack juicy plant matter, primarily for its water content. More often, though, they obtain water from dewdrops on vegetation.

Most species have an annual life cycle, usually passing the winter as eggs and maturing in late summer - hence their common name.











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