An Uninvited Guest

During our family tea-time today, I noticed my husband had what I thought to be a harvestman on the collar of his shirt. I borrowed his new compact camera and got the above picture.

Harvestmen are arachnids, like spiders, but the two creatures are not closely related. According to the RSPB, harvestmen do not spin silk and they have no fangs and thus no venom. They have round, compact bodies and long legs. They feed by catching their insect prey with hooks on the ends of their legs.

If they are cornered, they can secrete a foul smelling liquid and they can shed a leg to escape.

Harvestmen eat small insects, snails and worms.

In the late evening, just before 10, I caught sight of a bat, possibly a pipistrelle, zooming around our back garden. Occasionally, it raced up to the kitchen window and veered off to its left at the last moment. It gave a good display for a few minutes, sometimes flying around the fir tree in its quest for insects.


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