Cellar spider = "Daddy-long-legs spider"

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Cellar spider = "Daddy-long-legs spider"

Post by rjlittlefield »

I had a moment stuck away from home with nothing to do, and this interesting little spider was hanging in a dark corner outside the front door...



I looked up the beast. This is apparently a "cellar spider", family Pholcidae, perhaps genus Pholcus. They are also called "daddy-long-legs spiders", not to be confused with Harvestmen which are also called "daddy-long-legs" but are not spiders. :?

The eyes of these spiders are organized as two groups of three (one group on each side of the carapace), plus a smaller median pair, black in this picture. Judging from these shots, the inner eye of each group of three seems to be strongly retroreflective -- perhaps a different angle would show that all the eyes have the same feature.

Their webs are not adhesive, but instead have a very fine irregular structure that mechanically traps prey. I could not even see the web, but when I tried to reach the spider by probing at it, clearly there was web at least a half-inch around the beast.

Wikipedia has a good article about these spiders.


PS. Ken, there was another one of these beasts inside the house, over the sofa. But it was much bigger -- must have been at least 3" legspan! :twisted:

Canon 300D, Sigma 105mm macro at f/11 and f/7.1, electronic flash. Body width approximately 1.2 mm, leg span 35mm.

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

I've got these things hanging around my house too or something like them. When it comes to IDing spiders, I usually find something more important to do. :lol: They are more of an annoyance than anything else. I think Wim, I'm not sure, made a post saying that they eat other spiders, which is good. :wink:

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Post by beetleman »

very strange grouping of the eyes Rik. The ones I have in my house don`t get that big. Sometimes if you disturb them, they shake their webs and bounce around (which I see it states in the Wikipedia article). Out of all spiders, I dislike these the most...Just plain creepy :shock: Very nice photos :wink:
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
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Post by twebster »

I have these guys hanging all around my back patio. Actually, they're pretty cool. I haven't seena any eat any other spiders but I have seen them eat just about anything that falls into the web. Our little mutt likes to snap at them in the webs :!: :D

Best regards, :D
Tom Webster

Phoenix "The Valley of the Sun", Arizona, USA

The worst day photographing dragonflies is better than the best day working! :)

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