Daddy Long-legs Spider - Pholcus phalangioides

Description

Sometimes called the 'Long-legged Cellar Spider' it is relatively easy to identify due to the very long legs and cylindrical body. Pholcus phalangioides is an eight-eyed spider, which is a pale yellow-brown except for a gray patch in the center of the cephalothorax. The body and legs are almost translucent. The females are about 8 mm in length and males 6 mm.

Photo ID?
Habitat

Particularly fond of houses and out-buildings where it is usually found.

When to see it

All year round.

Life History

Their horizontal webs are large, loose and flat, but they can make them any shape to fit into surrounding objects. They hang upside down on the web and if disturbed will shake violently. These spiders are effective predators of household pests including other spiders. They throw silk at their victim and, once snared, will bite, envenomating their prey - they'll even go out hunting other spiders including Tegenaria species. They are also cannibalistic - eating each other if food is scarce. On the other hand the females are excellent mothers. They carry their eggs in their mouths and have been seen feeding their young.

UK Status

The Pholcus family of spiders normally prefer warmer climes but this species is widespread and common in Britain, though fewer records come from Scotland.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Further Information

1962 British records to Jan 2013

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map