|Brown Daddy-long-legs, Caddo Trail July 20, 2014|
Between the fallacies of the internet, and the fudging of memory, I'm foggy on the whole issue of Daddy-long-legs. Growing up I remember playing with "Granddaddy-long-legs" far more than roly-poly doodle-bugs. We knew Granddaddies were harmless, and spent untold hours sitting on the warm concrete driveway redirecting the skinny not-spiders from their intended destinations with stick and stone obstacle courses or just our hands. We knew the Granddaddies lived in the rock walls between yards. I have no recollection of pulling legs off these little creatures, or anything really mean.
Those long ago Nebraska Granddaddies were much smaller than the Brown Daddy-long-legs I spy these days at Oak Point and Arbor Hills Nature Preserves. But I'm still confused about why these eight-legged creatures are not spiders.
|Waist not, spider not. Oak Point today.|
It turns out that spiders have two distinct body parts, the cephalothorax and the abdomen. Insects have three body parts, the head, thorax, and abdomen. Daddy-long-legs have just one body part with no "waist" between their cephalothorax and abdomen.
Also foggy in my memory was a sculpture we called "Granddaddy Long-legs" at the Sheldon Art Museum as kids in Lincoln. It's by Alexander Calder, and called "Snake on Arch", and it looks less like a spider than I remembered. Maybe I had it confused with spider sculptures by Louise Bourgeois. Before I add Daddy-long-leg photos from Arbor Hills Nature Preserve on the west side of Plano, I have some fun links for Daddy-long-legs in poetry, sculpture, and furniture.