Bugs, Spiders, and a Case of Mistaken Identity

The differences between the USA and UK never cease to amaze me. I have lived in England for nearly two years now (my oh my, how time has flown!) and just when I think I understand all our differences, I am once again, surprised!

It is June, and it’s as close as Great Britain can get to summer weather. Which naturally means that the bugs have come out to play.

(One quick observation is that England has far fewer bugs than America and even less poisonous ones. They literally have no poisonous spiders, no Black Widows, no Brown Recluses, all normal non deadly critters.)

During the day we leave our windows open to cool the house down, so a few bugs manage to slip in. Tonight one happened to be flying around my room. My partner told me to kill the “Daddy Long Legs”. I looked around, and didn’t see a daddy long legs in sight.

My partner again pointed to the wall and said kill it. I finally noticed that he was pointing to what I would call a mosquito, the giant ones that don’t really bite or sting but fly around annoyingly. I proceeded to laugh and inform them that it wasn’t a Daddy Long Legs which I know of as a spider, but a mosquito.

This led to a heated argument over the proper scientific name of this specific insect. (Which I never got around to killing) When we were unable to agree, I turned to the most reliable source or information, Google.

Turns out, both of us were wrong. A Daddy Long Legs is neither a spider, or the mosquito like thing. In England they do actually call the flying thing a Daddy Long Legs, but it is in fact a Crane Fly. And in America, we think Daddy Long Legs are spiders, but are actually Harvestmen. and are not a spider.

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