Beneficial Insect: Harvestmen (Opiliones)

Insect Type: Beneficial insect, not a spider

Major Identifying Features: Characterized by having one basic body segment, at most 2 eyes, and 8 legs that attach to the pill-like body segment, their legs are long and flexible, they do not produce silk,

Life Cycle: Harvestmen molt every ten days or so, young undergo their first moult within hours of hatching, and will moult 7-8 times before maturity, oviposition takes place soon after mating, in some species the male guards the female while she deposits the eggs, stroking her body gently with his legs, eggs are laid in damp soil, moss, rotting wood, etc., eggs are white, yellow, pale green and laid in batches of 120 at a time from late summer to early autumn, eggs hatch after 20 days to 6 months, one generation per year

Pest Rating: Beneficial!

Management Rating: Beneficial!

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Harvestmen are usually found under logs and rocks, prefer moist habitat, they are nocturnal

Support Information/Common Prey: Garden piders feed mostly on insects and other spiders such as flying or falling insects, harvestmen eat a variety of foods including aphids, caterpillars, beetles, flies, mites, small slugs, snails, earthworms, spiders, other harvestmen, plant and animal matter, bird droppings, and fungi

Management/Attraction Options: Spiders are primarily beneficial and their activities should be encouraged in the garden, pesticide control is difficult and rarely necessary, provide boxes, crevices, wood, and other hiding places if you want to have more spiders in your garden






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