Quote from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opilione…
Many species are omnivorous, eating primarily small insects and all kinds of plant material and fungi; some are scavengers, feeding upon dead organisms, bird dung and other fecal material. This broad range is quite unusual in arachnids, which are usually pure predators. Most hunting harvestmen ambush their prey, although active hunting is also found. Because their eyes cannot form images, they use their second pair of legs as antennae to explore their environment. Unlike most other arachnids, harvestmen do not have a sucking stomach or a filtering mechanism. Rather, they ingest small particles of their food, thus making them vulnerable to internal parasites such as gregarines.
Although parthenogenetic species do occur, most harvestmen reproduce sexually. Mating involves direct copulation, rather than the deposition of a spermatophore. The males of some species offer a secretion from their chelicerae to the female before copulation. Sometimes the male guards the female after copulation and, in many species, the males defend territories. The females lay eggs shortly after mating or anytime up to several months later. Some species build nests for this purpose. A unique feature of harvestmen is that in some species the male is solely responsible for guarding the eggs resulting from multiple partners, often against egg-eating females, and subjecting the eggs to regular cleaning. Depending on circumstances such as temperature, the eggs may hatch at any time after the first 20 days, up to about half a year after being laid. Harvestmen pass through four to eight nymphal instars to reach maturity. Most known species have six instars.
Most species are nocturnal and colored in hues of brown, although there are a number of diurnal species, some of which have vivid patterns in yellow, green and black with varied reddish and blackish mottling and reticulation.
To deal with predators such as birds, mammals, amphibians and spiders, some species glue debris onto their body, while many play dead when disturbed. Many species practice autotomy; they detach their legs, which keep on moving, to confuse predators. Especially long-legged species vibrate their body ("bobbing"), probably also to confuse predators. This is similar to the behavior of the similar looking but unrelated cellar spider, which vibrates wildly in its web when touched. Scent glands emit substances that can deter larger predators, but are also effective against ants.
Many species of harvestmen easily tolerate members of their own species, with aggregations of many individuals often found at protected sites near water. These aggregations may number 200 animals in the Laniatores, but more than 70,000 in certain Eupnoi. This behavior is likely a strategy against climatic odds, but also against predators, combining the effect of scent secretions, and reducing the probability of any particular individual of being eaten.
Harvestman clean their legs after eating by drawing each leg in turn through their jaws.
If they do, jesus christ I'm glad I've never looked at them too closely.
Well, luckily it was a tarantula... Fff...HATE THOSE THINGS!!!
Awesome shot, detail is beautiful! Buuuuut nonetheless...NIGHTMARE FUEL, AHOY!
Also, where on EARTH did it say in the description that they jump out on people? o.O I saw that they sometimes vibrate in an attempt to confuse predators, but not the jumping thing. Are you certain it said that? Now I'm confused, LOL.
I really did think this was something you made up until I read the description, which was fascinating by the way. Very interesting creature!
Fantabulous photo by the way!