#1
Old 05-30-2000, 07:05 AM
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Ok, I've been unable to find any info on this online.

Around my office we have a spider problem. among the many different types of arachnid(I should probably say "spider"), we have a group of them that have 6 legs. They're dark bodied, have no jointed thorax to speak of, but look kinda like a daddy long-legs spider.

Is this a spider? I'm kinda confused by these lil buggers.

Any entomologists out there?

-Sam
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#2
Old 05-30-2000, 07:20 AM
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I think some spiders use their front pair of legs as arms. So what you might think are antennae are really legs that he doesn't walk on. I think spiders' real antennae are relatively small.
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#3
Old 05-30-2000, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
I think some spiders use their front pair of legs as arms
Nope(not this one anyways). It has 6 symmetrically placed legs surrounding it. Imagine a piece of dark gravel with 6 legs, and there he is...no antennae or nothing.

-Sam
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#4
Old 05-30-2000, 08:33 AM
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I'll bring this to the attention of Doug, the Straight Dope Staff's resident entomologist, and see what he says.
#5
Old 05-30-2000, 08:44 AM
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How fast do they move? How long/wide are they?

They sound like ticks, to me. If there are not eight legs, it is not a spider. There are a few spider look-alike insects, but my kids have wandered off with my creepy-crawly guide, so I can't give you any possibilities, just now.
#6
Old 05-30-2000, 09:15 AM
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could be some type of waterbug, i've seen waterbugs that look almost like daddy long-legs but with six legs skimming on water in ponds. is your office prone to dampness at all?
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#7
Old 05-30-2000, 09:29 AM
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Nope, not a tick...

Yes, it looks like a water-skimmer, but there are no ponds or puddles nearby, I mean not even for miles! And, these buggers walk on the walls, too.

-Sam
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#8
Old 05-30-2000, 10:48 AM
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MOSQUITOS!!! just occured to me. ever see those big f***ers? perhaps? they climb on walls, skim on water, multiply like... mosquitos. i'm just guessing, i have no idea.
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#9
Old 05-30-2000, 11:28 AM
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Nope...

No wings! Looks exactly like a spider, except for the lack of a thorax and 2 legs.

-Sam
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#10
Old 05-30-2000, 11:34 AM
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Maybe it's one of the Zanti misfits???
#11
Old 05-30-2000, 12:09 PM
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Two theories:

First, I've heard of and seen spiders that wave their front legs around like antennae for the purpose of imitating ants and infiltrating anthills. However, if the "spider" looks like a daddy-longlegs, that's probably out.

Second, you sure you're not just seeing wounded daddy-longlegs spiders? Those long legs get pulled off/lost quite often, to predators, accidents, whatever, and the spider just grows them back. Catch one, keep it in a jar for a while, and observe the little bastard.

I'll wager we can better tell what this critter is if you can tell us its coloring, legspan, and body size.
#12
Old 05-30-2000, 04:19 PM
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I am intriqued as to what these critters are in your office. On a side note, a daddy long-legs is not an insect. It's not actually a spider either, though more closely related to spiders than insects. Both are Arachnids (Class Arachnida), but daddy long-legs belong to Order Opiliones while spiders belong to Order Araneae.
#13
Old 05-30-2000, 05:49 PM
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Actually, as birding has taught me, the first step in identification is range. Where do you live, specifically? For example, a good reply would be midwestern New Jersey (where I'm from).
#14
Old 05-30-2000, 06:30 PM
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GaWd, do you have a good library where you live? If so, I suggest you check out a feild guide to insects.
#15
Old 05-30-2000, 06:58 PM
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oKAY...

I live in the bay area of California.

I understand that daddy long-legs aren't exactly spiders. THis little guy has six evenly spaced legs, leading me to believe that he is not exactly a DLL spider and hasn't suffered damage to two of his legs. Could he be of the same order? Can he belong to the arachnid class without 8 legs?

AcK!! help me out guys

Honestly, imagine a water-skipper guy with long legs. I've never seen these buggers in webs, so my guess is they're pretty far away from spiders as a family.

-Sam
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#16
Old 05-30-2000, 07:44 PM
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colours, and are you prone to damnpness?
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#17
Old 05-30-2000, 08:23 PM
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Dark brown/black...no, I use powder when I feel an attack of moisture gettin me down...

-Sam
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#18
Old 05-30-2000, 08:50 PM
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Well, actually, I do have a suggestion. Squirt one of them with Raid, very carefully, so as not to squash it. Then stick it in a ziploc baggie and take it down to your friendly local County Extension Office. Look in the phone book under YourCounty Extension Service--it may add the word "Co-op" in between "county" and "extension". This is a perfectly marvelous ag resource that nevertheless isn't just for farmers anymore, and they wish more people knew about it. Most offices have a Master Gardener service, with trained personnel just sitting around all day making paper clip chains, waiting for someone to call them with a mystery bug to identify. And it's all paid for by Your Tax Dollars, so it's free, sort of.

P.S. Don't try to mail it, because it will get squashed, and the county agent hates being asked to ID a brown smear.
#19
Old 05-30-2000, 09:34 PM
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GAWD: I also live in the Bay area, and I have never seen anything like you describe. And, yes, having 8 legs is required of spiders: if it has 6, it is an insect.
#20
Old 05-31-2000, 12:22 AM
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Quoth AWB:
Quote:
I think some spiders use their front pair of legs as arms. So what you might think are antennae are really legs that he doesn't walk on. I think spiders' real antennae are relatively small.
Daddy Long-legs actually use their second pair of legs as feelers, or at least, the ones I've seen crawling around inside tents on campouts do.
Meanwhile, if they don't look like they're injured, then my guess would be just a long-legged insect of some sort with a small thorax. If it naturally only has six legs, it's by definition not an arachnid.

Also, why do you say that spiders are a problem? I'd rather have spiders and their kin than mosquitoes, any day.
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#21
Old 05-31-2000, 01:19 AM
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Well, I don't live anywhere near you but we have a type of spider here (no, I will not look up a picture to post for you because I hate spiders!) that is asymmetrical until it puts two of it's legs together with other legs (how it is usually seen) and then it looks just like a 6-legged, symmetrical spider. However, it's body is bigger than the standard daddy long legs (body) that we get around here so I don't think it is the same kind--unless you have large-bodied daddy long legs out there! But maybe it is the same type of deal.
#22
Old 05-31-2000, 10:54 PM
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Quote:

Honestly, imagine a water-skipper guy with long legs. I've never seen these buggers in webs, so my guess is they're pretty far away from spiders as a family.
Many spiders, such as wolf spiders, do not build webs.
#23
Old 06-15-2000, 05:39 PM
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Well, the best bet would indeed be a daddy-longlegs that's missing two legs, unless there are a large number of them that all look the same. However, the original person has said nothing about antennae. ALL insects have antennae, NO spiders do. If it has six legs and no antennae, and no separate thorax, then it's a freak of nature, since only juvenile mites and ticks have that combination. I suppose I've never seen a newborn daddy-longlegs, however, and I therefore suppose that can't be ruled out. If it has antennae, then it's some sort of wingless insect, despite the apparent absence of a thorax, and I'd need more data to ID it (e.g., how many mm long is the body?). You need to take a closer look.
#24
Old 06-15-2000, 06:36 PM
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Based on Gwads description, I looked it up. It is a "common
water strider", which sometimes finds a place to wait until it gets water to be happy on. Lot of these in Bay area.
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#25
Old 06-14-2001, 11:21 AM
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I'm pretty sure they're... get ready: camel crickets! Those or brown, to dark brown, climb on walls, six legs, look like spiders. They live in our basement and its mostly my job to kill'em (yay). Anyway, I remember me and my sis used to convince my mom that crickets and spiders had mated, pretty succesfully too. So, I'm guessing they're camel crickets
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