View Full Version : Why do Daddy longlegs exist?

16th Sep 2002, 20:17
After a night of being bothered by Daddy Longlegs (no not my boyfriends nickname but the insect) I have been wondering what on earth they do.

I have never seen them do anything other than buzz around the ceiling or fly into my hair.

Any ideas anybody??

16th Sep 2002, 21:58
easy peasy.

the crane fly larvae live in my lawn - and yours. starlings love to feed the larvae to their babies. small boys love to pull the legs from the adults. so, two reasons to be cheerful!


tony draper
16th Sep 2002, 22:02
All critters have a place and a function in the natural world, except us talking monkeys. :(

16th Sep 2002, 22:09
One was in my microwave when I was heating my Horlics. It became a Daddy Short Legs after that. They curled up like old clocksprings!!! :eek:

16th Sep 2002, 22:26
Just found one drown in my bath.



16th Sep 2002, 22:43
Uuurrrghhhh!!! Daddy long legs - I hate the little bastards. Yes, I know it is an irrational fear - they are completely harmless, unless it is a really viscious and hard one, and I shouldn't be such a big girl's blouse.

I blame my mother who was petrified of them. It seems it has rubbed off on me. Luckilu, Mrs BALIX has, metaphorically speaking of course, more balls than me when it comes to daddy effing long legs. Should one enter the bed chamber of an evening, she is tasked with the job of catching said little bastard and ejecting it out of the window. I just can't sleep knowing there's one in the room and that noise they make is HORRIBLE!!

Personally, I'd prefer it if they all got shoved in Gassbag's microwave (as we don't have one) and nuked into oblivion.

16th Sep 2002, 23:04
Well, according to Fantom at least, Daddy long legs do have a raison d'etre, but, WASPS? Why, for Gods sake, Why????

Oh and by the way, anyone got any suggestions for the plural of Daddy Long Legs?
1 Daddy Long legs
2 Daddy Long ........Legses?

God my brain hurts...

Captain Stable
16th Sep 2002, 23:08
Daddies Long Legs?

There was a song (in the Captain Beaky series) about a Daddy Long Legs who danced with Fred Astaire...

Nurse! Time for my medication?

tony draper
16th Sep 2002, 23:11
Daddies long leg ,perchance

17th Sep 2002, 00:05
FACT A superstition says that a daddy longlegs can find lost cows. If you're missing a cow, hold a daddy longlegs by its back legs and one of its front legs will point in the direction of the missing cattle.( True by the way... :) )

17th Sep 2002, 00:32
Stands to reason that they were in on it then. Bl**dy crooks. Mark my words, you lose a cow, there'll be a band of Daddy Long Legs lving in a caravan at the bottom of the lane!! :D

17th Sep 2002, 08:13
Daddy Long Legs eat Mosquitoes - makes them alright in my book!

Does anyone know what benefit Wasps provide, I hate the little b*****s!!

17th Sep 2002, 08:19
They have the most lethal poison of any spider but their fangs arent sharp enough to pierce human skin.

Other spiders are another matter however.

Daddy Long Legs loves to eat other spiders and are great for clearing out rooms and cars of other types of spiders coz

a) they cant hurt us

b) other spiders are afraid of them and are easily killed by them

So if you are unlucky enough to find a redback or a funnelweb in your room or your car, catch a Daddy Long Leg and let him lose in the general area of the other nasty spider.

17th Sep 2002, 08:27
Bit of cross cultural misunderstanding here!

In Australia - Daddy Long Legs is a small spider with long legs, and deadly venom, which fortunately cant penetrate our skin!

In Britain our Daddy Long legs, or crane fly, is a rather annoying but harmless fly with long legs and big wings. Young children find it rather amusing to pull the legs off one by one!

Personally when I was in Australia I found all the spiders terrifying, you must be mad living there! A Funnel web in the car would probably kill me from heart attack, even if the little s**t didnt bite me!!!

17th Sep 2002, 08:41
I agree that wasps are a huge pain in the rear (and that's before they sting you there).

They can't be needed for pollination; bees must take care of that whilst being far less irritating.

I think I'm doing OK as I've managed to terminate at least 6 in the last 2 weeks.

P.S. Daddies Long Legs don't really bother me but they do seem pretty useless

17th Sep 2002, 08:54
But aren't some things only pollinated by wasps - I'm thinking that sexiest of fruits: figs. C'mon ORAC, am I right?

17th Sep 2002, 09:18

I'm with you on the Australian spider front. I was there a few weeks ago and there was a spider sitting on the doorstep of my relative's house at dusk when we came home. It was so big it prompted one of our party to ask if it was a crab! and this is in the middle of Sydney. Yeeeuuuchh! :eek:

17th Sep 2002, 09:22
Wasps are a major predator of caterpillars so they help tp stop your garden getting munched.

Daddy Long Legs are put on earth to be the insect worlds answer to MBAs :D

17th Sep 2002, 11:31
if wasps are a predator of caterpillars... why the heck do they always head straight for my Sunday dinner :mad:

17th Sep 2002, 13:35
You think wasps are bad... try moths. ARGHHHH Huge flitty things that deliberately dive bomb my light! Am thinking of switiching to candles.. :eek: :eek:

17th Sep 2002, 16:01
People with an irrational fear of insects should stay away from Borneo.

I thought I should mention that.

Its jolly nice of the little ******s to let us stay here.

Through difficulties to the cinema

17th Sep 2002, 18:10

moths aren't as bad as wasps. I remember once when my neighbour was totally unaware that he had a wasps nest in his attic. I often used to fall asleep with the light on when I was a kid as I'd either be reading a book or watching tv till I drifted off. One summer I left my window open to let some fresh air into the room and also left my light on. I woke up the following morning to the sound of a dozen or so wasps all buzzing around the lightbulb.
Not having been stung by a bee or a wasp before, I wasn't going to take my chance and get stung in that way, so I shouted for my mum to bring up a rolled up newspaper, can of fly killer and the vacuum cleaner. Took me nearly an hour, but I dealt with the little beggars without getting stung once :D

17th Sep 2002, 18:51
Figs innit, what wasps pollinate?

17th Sep 2002, 19:15
I have an irrational fear of Daddy Long Legs and Moths :eek: (also Butterflies, but I'm getting a bit better with those, depending on their size and colour!) :(

I know it's stupid and that they can't hurt me.... but I'm still terrified and detest them all the same!!!

I'm also slightly phobic about getting into lifts,..... but I'd rather be stuck in a lift for a week than have any of the above land on me!!! :(

I've had some really embarrassing moments due to this fear.... but that's another story!!:o

17th Sep 2002, 20:56
I'm sure the butterfly must have been named by Dr Spooner. It surely should have been called a flutterby? :D

18th Sep 2002, 14:56
Embarrassing? Another story, you say? I'm all ears!!

Now, moths, there's another thing that puzzles me. They are nocturnal, so they only come out at night, but they head straight for the nearest lightbulb!! WHY? Surely if they just came out at daytime, they'd have all the light they seem to crave so.

18th Sep 2002, 20:02
Have started intentionally putting DLL's in the microwave . Oh what fun:D Can't wait untill the end of september early October there will be loads to zap!
I hate spiders and heights!! Both give me sweaty palms and wobbly legs.
How many other pilots can't stand heights?

19th Sep 2002, 09:25
briteandbreezy, I too used to have an irrational fear of Daddy Long Legs but I am now cured.

Last year while walking home one flew into my mouth. I managed to retrive two legs and half a body. Got home quick and had a couple of glasses of red wine to kill the taste.
A week later another one got entirely swallowed. I have now decided I can do much more harm to them than they can to me.

19th Sep 2002, 22:30

I'd be far too embarrassed to tell you my 'embarrassing moments' caused by Moths and Daddy Long Legs! :o

It's absolutely ridiculous that I let these 'little things' get to me..... but I can live with it (as long as they stay out of my house.... and as far away from me as possible) :eek:

As a regular killer of spiders, I find it hard to believe that at the present moment, I'm letting one dwell in the corner near my front door!!! :) It's alive and well, doesn't wander far..... and as long as it stays there I won't kill it,..... woe betide it..... if it moves from that spot and I find it!!! :rolleyes:


I've more or less come to terms with my fear being 'terminal' now, it used to really bother me, but as nearly everybody that knows me, knows about it,.... they expect me to throw a wobbler when I see one. (it doesn't matter how large or small they are, they have the same effect)

If I was to swallow one, that would be it.... somebody would have to call 999, 'cos I'd most definitely have a cardiac arrest, failing that I'd be at the hospital in next to no time at all.... demanding a stomach pump!!! I kid you not!! :eek:

The most ridiculous thing is, that as a little girl, there was nothing I loved more than playing with slugs, worms and caterpillars at the bottom of my aunt's garden!! ;)

19th Sep 2002, 22:54
Flat Spin
Wasps in the cockpit can be lethal, I always obliterate them as part of pre flite checks.

As far as spiders are concerned, the best approach is to find a mate who is afraid of mice, and swap phobias/ tasks.

I don't know what happens if both parties have a snake phobia.

20th Sep 2002, 16:36
I always thought it was an urban myth that Daddy Long Legs (aussie ones) were secretly deadly but didnt have the fangs to do the job.

tony draper
20th Sep 2002, 16:46
I think we are talking about two different critters here, the flying one and the land based one, the land based critter is correctly called a harvestman I believe, and does not belong to the spider family.
I have also heard that it has the most leathal toxin in the insect world.
No doubt Mr ORAC will put us right on that. :

20th Sep 2002, 17:43
Many people confuse spiders with insects. One way to recognize a spider from an insect is that a spider normally has 4 pairs of legs and an insect normally only has 3 pairs.

Harvestmen (order Opiliones) are often mistaken for spiders because they have eight legs. Unlike spiders, however, the two parts of the body are fused together. Opiliones do not have any poison glands.

The world's most poisonous known creature is the Golden Poison Frog. one milligram of poison is enough to kill 10 to 20 humans. The poison is stored in skin glands to kill whatever eats the frog . The frog does not produce the poison, but eats it as part of his diet from some unknown insect. Frogs bred in captivity, however, can't eat the same food and are not poisonous. Thus, some unknown South American insect is truly the most poisonous creature on Earth.

The most poisonous known insect is the North American mutillid wasp, also known as the velvet ant because of the appearance of the dense pile covering the body. It's lethality is apparent in it's common name - the cow or mule killer. Females are entirely wingless, while males are normally fully winged. Only female wasps can sting.

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