The Bunny Harvestman – A Tiny Arachnid Shaped Like a Dog’s Head

Looking at these incredible photos, you’d be forgiven for thinking that they’ve been edited to make the body of a spider look like a black dog’s head, but this is what the tiny Bunny Harvestman actually looks like.

Independent scientist Andreas Kay took these incredible photographs of a Bunny Harvestman in the Amazonian forests of Ecuador back in 2017, but they only recently went viral online, and for good reason. They show the bizarrely-shaped body of the tiny arachnid in such great detail that it’s hard to believe that this is a real creature and not the work of Photoshop.

The Bunny Harvestman, or Metagryne Bicolumnata, was first described in 1959 by German arachnid specialist Carl Friedrich Roewer and named after the resemblance between its tiny body and the head of a rabbit. However, I personally think it looks more like the head of a German Shepherd. Not only does its dark abdomen feature two unusual protuberances that resemble pointy dog ears, but Kay’s photographs also show to perfectly placed yellow dots that look like freaky eyes. Its real eyes, however, are black and placed further down the body, forming what looks like the dog’s snout.

 Bunny Harvestman, Metagryne bicolumnata

Interestingly, Metagryne Bicolumnata isn’t technically a spider. It belongs to the order of Opiliones, commonly known as harvestmen, harvesters or daddy longlegs, of which there over 6,600 known species across the globe. Harvestmen cannot produce spider silk, so the only time you will see them on a spider web is if they have become stuck on it and about to become a spider’s meal. They also lack venom glands or even fangs, so they are completely harmless to humans.

 Bunny Harvestman, Metagryne bicolumnata

Although scientist have yet to explain the bizarre appearance of the Bunny Harvestman’s body, one theory is that it helps the tiny arachnid fool predators into thinking that it is larger than it really is.

Bunny Harvestman, Metagryne bicolumnata

And if you’re still not convinced that a spider with a body shaped like a dog’s head actually exists, maybe this video recorded by the same Andreas Kay will convince you. Also, if you’re interested in the fascinating creatures of Ecuador’s Amazonian jungle, be sure to check out Kay’s Flickr profile, because it features some truly incredible wildlife photos.

via Rumble