Is calling the Opiliones harvestmen no longer acceptable?

I’ve recently seen harvestmen referred to as harvestpersons…is this personal choice for some people or is it no longer proper to refer to “daddy long-legs” as harvestmen? Or, daddy long legs?

Until I saw the name being used in a gender neutral manner I hadn’t really thought about it…are there other species with common names IDing them as a single gender?

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It’s an arachnid, and, as a non-binary person, I don’t really think it’s a big deal.

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I don’t think anyone really cares. I’m LGBTQ and fully support gender equity and all, but these sorts of excessive renamings are pointless and it’s usually a tiny minorty who ask for them. As far as I’m aware.

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<joking tag| Good idea! Since we are at it let’s change lady-bug to person-bug too |/joking tag>

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Let’s not forget the feared Portuguese-person-o-war.

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Oh, my! (They’ll always be Daddy-Longlegs to me.)

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parenty long legs

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Guess we should change Mantises to Persontises…

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I went outside and found a female Leiobunum and asked her if she finds the term “harvestman” offensive. She didn’t have anything to say about it either way, so my assumption is that they don’t consider “harvestman” problematic. Will make sure to ask a Phalangium for a second opinion next time I run into one.

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Aside from humans, other species have no concept of gender or gender identity. So it doesn’t really matter if we refer to them with a gendered term or not. They’re not persons, nor are they harvesters. So should those terms be avoided too simply because they’re not accurate? I don’t think so.
And besides, I feel like calling them something else (like, let’s say, “mommy long legs”) would open up a completely different bag of issues, lol.

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harvestperson strikes me as particularly weird, i cant explain why “ladybug” or “harvestman” or “painted lady” dont do this to me but “personbug” “painted person” etc i think no thats weird those arent people

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that said, if we do feel the need to degender the names, “harvester” probably works well in this particular case

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My boyfriend and I call them “congressmen”, which is an inside joke based on a mishearing on a hike. I guess we’re not helping.

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As a Portuguese man, I think the only word that would disturb me in the name “Portuguese man-of-war” is “war”.

Jokes (and PC) aside, I recommend using Opiliones in any context. Common names, especially for invertebrates, are valid only in restricted communities and are more of a nuisance in a global platform such as iNaturalist.

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I wouldn’t worry about it. They’re just common names so in the iNat context they don’t really matter, and the whole “worrying about gendered names for animals” thing just seems silly. As others have mentioned, they don’t care what they’re called! Personally I’m one of those fools who just called Opiliones and bathroom spiders “daddy longlegs” - I never even heard them called harvestmen until iNat. (Don’t ask what a bathroom spider is, all I can tell you is ‘they’re daddy-longlegs!’)

It is not a person, it just couldn’t be a person. May be harvestthing? And thingbug. Or harvestit. Anyway we need to be more Monty Python and ad absurdum!

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Pholcus (which is what you mean by bathroom spider) looks similar to Opiliones, which is why the name stuck to it with young people.

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this is hilarious—I can imagine the quizzical look when asking someone for help ID’ing my harvestperson

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Oh, you are totally helping!

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And of course another common name for the group of spiders to which Pholcus belongs is “cellar spiders”. So the bathroom spider is really a cellar spider in the wrong room, but it’s not a daddy long-legs because it isn’t a harvestperson and it might be a mommy long-legs. Got it.

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