Harvestman – Looks Like a Spider, But Isn’t

We always called these daddy longleg spiders, but they aren’t spiders! Arachnids – yes. Spiders – no. I only figured this out today when I did the research for this post.

They aren’t even the only critters that are called daddy longlegs – cellar spiders and craneflies are called that too.

Bug Bits
Name:  Harvestman
Species:  Phalangium opilio
Native to:  Found in most terrestrial habitats.
Date Seen:  October 2011; August 2013
Location:  North of Calgary, Alberta
Notes:  These arachnids have eight long slender legs and short globular bodies. They don’t have antennae. They don’t spin webs, and they are not venomous.

Eurasian Collared-Dove

The Feather Files
Name:  Eurasian Collared-Dove
Species:  Streptopelia decaocto
Native to and Migration:  In North America – most of the United States; SW Canada, Mexico; non-migratory.
Date Seen:  May 2017; March 2016
Location:  North of Calgary, Alberta; north of Fountain Hills, Arizona
Notes:  These birds are now native to Europe and Asia, though they were originally from India. They were introduced into North America in 1974, when about 50 of them escaped captivity in Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas – then moved to Florida.

These doves typically breed close to human habitation where food resources are abundant and there are trees for nesting. They can produce three or four broods a year, which helps to explain their successful colonization of such a large part of the world.

They are a valuable food source for owls, eagles, hawks and falcons.

The dove’s monotonous coo – coo – coo can be incredibly annoying because it is repeated over and over and over – for hours. If the bird (or birds) are sitting on the top of the fireplace chimney, the sound is amplified and even more annoying… A flock of doves on the roof of your house is a very messy affair.

Bee Fly

This Bee Fly was drinking nectar from the flowers of a Spiraea Bush. From a distance, it was just a small black fly. The story changed with the macro lens – two tone wings and big buggy eyes!

Bug Bits
Name:  Bee Fly
Family:  Bombyliidae
Native to:  The Bombyliidae Family of insects are found throughout much of the world. Little is known about them due to lack of research. They are flower pollinators.
Date Seen:  June 2019
Location:  North of Calgary, Alberta
Notes:  Bee Flies have two membrane-like wings, often with interesting patterns on them. They spread their wings out when they rest. Their bodies are usually covered with fine gray, yellow, brown and/or black hairs.