If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

About Me

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

06 August, 2010

Harvestman (Leiobunum rotundum)

Nature is a wonderful thing (if you can call all of nature a 'thing'). The body of this harvestmen is barely 3mm long from tip to tail and yet the legs are seven or eight times longer! How can a small body like that manoeuvre eight long legs and keep them synchronised? Not only that, if you disturb one you will see just how quickly it gets its act together and gets mobile!

That small round single body contains not only its vital organs, but also some sort of brain and enough muscles to move eight long legs. Incredible!

These are insect feeders but they do not spin webs to catch their prey. They use speed and surprise - all coordinated through that tiny little control centre in the middle which also houses some pretty strong 'fangs' and a mouth capable of consuming insects larger than itself.

Isn't nature amazing?