The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Daddy long-legs

Fact Box
Species:
Pholcus phalangioides (RM)
(an introduced cosmopolitan species)
Family:
Pholcidae
Body length:
female: 8 mm
male: 7.5 mm
Habitat:
In a thin, tangled web attached to the ceilings and upper walls of rooms, sheds and caves (hence this species is also called a cellar spider) but also under bridges and in hollows of dead trees
Toxicity:
Probably too small to cause illness in humans; the suggestion it has very potent venom is a myth but its long legs give it an advantage over other kinds of spiders
Pholcus phalangioides
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Its web
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Eyes and palps
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Female with eggs
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Male palps
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Another species?
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Side view
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Female epigynum
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Carapace from side

A noteworthy characteristic of this spider is its habit of shaking the web violently when disturbed. The female will often be found holding her eggs in her palps.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Any other pholcid with an elongate abdomen.


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 3 December 2010.