Bunny Harvestman Spider – an 8-Leg Species with a Dog Head

The bunny harvestman is one of the weirdest species that you’ve ever seen. It has 8 legs (like spiders) and a head of a bunny. So, what is this creature? Let’s find out about this bunny harvestman and their interesting facts below.

Bunny harvestman
Scientific name: Metagryne bicolumnata
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Opiliones
Family: Cosmetidae

1. The bunny harvestman is not a spider

This creature has eight legs and resembles a spider, however, it’s not a kind of spider. This is the bunny harvestman, it’s one of the harvestmen species in the Opiliones order. Harvestmen are also known as “daddy longlegs” and belong to the class Arachnida, which also includes spiders, ticks, scorpions, and mites.

There are around 6,650 known Opiliones species in the world. They have existed for at least 400 million years, dating back way before the dinosaurs. Among these species, the bunny harvestman might be the most unusual.

The bunny harvestman is a species with very weird appearance

Carl Friedrich Roewer, a German spider specialist, was the first to observe and report the creature in 1959. Despite being discovered relatively recently, little is known about the bunny harvestman. Most of what we know about this harvestman is from the works of Roewer.

Harvestmen are commonly referred to as “daddy long legs” because of their elongated, spider-like legs. In some regions, they are also called “granddaddy longlegs” or “shepherd spiders”.

There are some old farm myths about the arachnid. One such belief is that it will rain the next day if you kill a harvestman. Another popular myth suggests that these creatures can locate lost cattle by pointing toward them with their legs.

2. It looks like a spider with a bunny/dog head

The first impressive thing when you look at a bunny harvestman is a big black head that resembles a bunny or dog. The head has two yellow eyes and nostrils. However, they are all illusions.

The bunny harvestman is distinguished by yellow appendages and a big black hump./Cre: on pic

The black part is actually the big black bump on its back with two ear-like spikes and two spots. The bunny harvestman spider’s real eyes are positioned down below. They locate on either side of a protruding point of the hump. You may think that this bulge is their nose, however, they are the eyes of the animal.

So, the rabbit face with the nose and two yellow eyes is just fake. Their unusual shape is thought to make them appear more intimidating to predators.

These arachnids are small in size and have segmented legs. They don’t have a segmented torso, which set them apart from spiders. Moreover, these harvestmen only have 2 eyes, while spiders generally have six or more.

Measuring no more than half an inch, the bunny harvestman is only about the size of a human fingernail. It has a furry, white abdomen that resembles a rabbit, which is where it got its name.

The male and female bunny harvestman can be differentiated based on their size, color, and appendage proportions. The male’s body is often smaller, shorter, and brighter in color, whereas the female’s markings are more defined. The male also has more distinct granulations and spines on their legs.

3. Habitat and location

Harvestmen do not make silk and so do not reside on webs like spiders. They prefer to reside under rocks and logs in moist environments instead. Although most harvestmen have similar habitats, there are a few species that are adapted to live in more arid regions, such as deserts.


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The bunny harvestman is a unique species that is found only in Ecuador, a region that is renowned for its biodiversity.

4. They are beneficial and not venomous

Bunny harvestmen do not pose any danger to humans as they lack venom glands or silk glands. In fact, they are considered beneficial to the ecosystem as they help keep harmful insect populations under control. Moreover, they are not aggressive and do not tend to bite. And if they do, their bite not cause any harm.

Harvestmen live a lonely life, however, some species may form groupings that can comprise hundreds of individuals. This behavior is believed to provide better predator protection, minimize water loss, and/or improve breeding success.

Being nocturnal creatures, bunny harvestman spiders are active during the night. They are also easily dehydrated. To mitigate this, they often search for sources of water and spend a significant portion of the day sleeping to conserve energy.

Harvestmen do not walk with their bodies elevated above the ground. Instead, they carry their bodies low, with the middle of their legs lifted in the air. These species move quite slowly, but they can move swiftly by swinging their bodies beneath their pumping “knees.”

Cre: on pic

In addition to their distinctive manner of movement, bunny harvestman spiders are known for their grooming habits. They usually clean themselves, paying special attention to their legs.

5. Bunny Harvestman Diet

Bunny harvestman spiders have a diverse diet and are considered omnivorous. These predators consume both living and dead prey that have soft bodies. They don’t hunt like spiders. Instead of that, they eat decaying vegetation and animal detritus.

Harvestman species can eat anything

Their diet may include fungi, feces, pollen, from good species (spiders, lady beetle eggs, other harvestmen, and earthworms) to bad species (aphids, caterpillars, mites, grasshoppers, slugs, psyllids, flies, snails, and beetle larvae), and other small invertebrates. They also occasionally steal captured prey from another individual.

Bunny harvestman spiders don’t kill their prey by injecting venom into its body like spiders. They just need to hold the prey with their pedipalps and chelicerae and tear it into pieces to eat it.

6. Their legs are very important

The legs of the bunny harvestman, as well as the other harvestman species, play important roles in their lives. These animals can scan their environment for chances to escape and predict danger thanks to specific sensing organs on their front legs.

The second pair of legs in bunny harvestman is longer than the other pairs and are responsible for detecting taste, touch, and smell. They can sense disturbances by flapping this leg pair in the air. With these legs, they can also detect vibrations and potentially scent cues from prey that is nearby.

If these sensory legs are lost during an escape from a predator, the harvestman is considered dead. This highlights the importance of these sensory legs in their survival and daily life.

7. They have a unique self-defense system

The bunny harvestman and other harvestman species are vulnerable to a variety of predators including certain birds, amphibians, mammals, and other species of the Arachnid class such as scorpions or spiders.

To defend themselves from these dangers, these creatures have evolved some unique defensive methods.

When confronted by a bird predator, some species will do a bobbing strategy. By vibrating their bodies quickly, they make it harder for the predator to grab them.

The bunny harvestman can vibrate real quick to make it hard to get
Cre: on pic

When fighting with a predator, they can eliminate a leg that the predator has grabbed to confuse the predator and allow them to escape. This detached leg will wiggle for 60 seconds or up to an hour, providing ample time for the harvestman to flee. However, once detached, the leg can’t regrow.

These animals have chemical protection as well. When they feel threatened, the scent glands on their cephalothorax emit a protective chemical. The substance might be discharged in the form of a liquid or gas that surrounds the harvestmen’s body.

Some species also gather protective fluids from their smell gland and spread them on a potential predator with their leg. The composition of the substance varies between species.

Another sort of defense is their ability to freeze in place and blend in with their environment. This makes them appear invisible to potential predators.

8. Reproduction

Bunny harvestman spiders mate like the other harvestman species. The members of this species often reproduce slowly and they only have one brood per year. Their breeding season lasts from late summer through early autumn.

Harvestman species mate sexually. But some species can have their offspring without the males.

When a female and a male breed, the male transfers its sperm to the female. The female uses her lengthy ovipositor to lay eggs individually or in groups of up to 120 eggs. These eggs are laid and placed in various hiding spots such as under stones, in ground crevices, under moss, dirt, mulch, or enclosed cavities beneath tree bark. After 20 days or up to 6 months, the eggs hatch. Females in some species protect their eggs until they hatch.

The life cycle of a harvestman involves a process of partial metamorphosis. Before reaching maturity, the young will molt through multiple phases every ten days. In moderate areas, some harvestmen survive winter by hibernating as eggs, immature stages, or adults in secure locations. The average life span of harvestmen can range from several months to a year or more.


  • The Bunny Harvestman – https://www.amazinglife.bio/post/the-bunny-harvestman-metagryne-bicolumnata
  • The Bunny Harvestman Spider Is Almost Too Bizarre To Be Real – https://allthatsinteresting.com/bunny-harvestman-spider
  • Bunny Harvestman Spider facts – https://thespiderblog.com/bunny-harvestman-spider-facts/

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