Look At This: Foot-long Daddy Longlegs Found In Laotian Cave

By Ashley P. Taylor | October 19, 2012 11:24 am

spacing is important

Dr. Peter Jäger, an arachnologist from the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt, was just taking a break from a TV shoot in a cave in Laos—like you do—when he came across this gigantic harvestman, or daddy longlegs. A pair of its legs spans 33 cm, over a foot, from end to end, making it one of the largest-known members of its order, the opiliones.

Don’t take this the wrong way, arachnophobes, but it missed the record for longest-legged daddy longlegs by a centimeter. That distinction went to a harvestman from South America, whose legs spanned 34 cm.

Harvestman photo via Senckenberg Research Institute

  • Guner DARICI

    Edifice :)

  • badnicolez

    I think if you stretched those legs out properly they would beat that 34cm.

  • IW

    Foot long? That’s stretching it. if you look really hard, you can just about make out the tiny blob of a body in the middle there. But I’m, going to run with your idea of length; if I stretch my arms I can be eight feet tall by your estimate. Where’s the professional basketball recruiter?

  • Susan

    Arachnophobia…sheesh… I only count six legs…tsk…you mean entomophobia.

  • DeepField

    This is just the first (or one of the first, anyway) specimens caught and measured. I think that if they could easily find larger, record-breaking, ones…

  • Stephen

    Susan, in addition to 6 legs, opiliones have 2 chelicerae. These are tiny grasping claws, which brings the total number of appendages to 8.

  • Mage

    Huh. You’d think that a longlegs like that would have equal length legs… or am I confusing it with some other insect?
    Actually, knowing myself, I probably have all the facts backwards on this.
    PS: There are actually two species of ‘daddy longlegs’ that look very similar – one is actually a spider, and the other, an insect.
    I think…

  • Ashley Cakes

    So, is it actually considered to be an arachnid?

  • Sean

    “if I stretch my arms I can be eight feet tall by your estimate”

    Not true, if you stretch out your arms, the distance from tip to tip is approx. your current height.


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