Pholcus phalangioides
(Long-bodied Cellar Spider)

Taxonomic Hierarchy

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Suborder: Araneomorphae
  • Family: Pholcidae
  • Genus: Pholcus
  • Species: Pholcus phalangioides

Common Name (AASMore information icon)

Long-bodied Cellar Spider

Other Common Names

Daddy Longlegs, Cellar Spider, Granddaddy Longlegs, Vibrating Spider

Author

Johann Kaspar Füssli, 1775

Pronunciation

FOHL-kuss fuh-lan-gee-OY-deez

Identification Traits

Disclaimer: The following table provides a quick overview of the spider's basic attributes. The physical traits are greatly generalized in order to aid in the identification and sorting of spider species using our search feature. This information is not exhaustive, and keep in mind that traits such as color, markings, and overall size and shape can vary widely within a species due to variables such as the spider's age, gender, diet, hydration level, climate, and habitat. Though experienced arachnologists and hobbyists can often classify spiders rather accurately based on their unique markings and general appearance, it's important to know that scientifically accurate spider identification relies on detailed taxonomic keys and microscopic examinations of a spider's reproductive organs.

Female iconFemale Male iconMale
Body size More information icon 7mm - 10mm 6mm - 10mm
Eye count 8
Primary Colors
Identifying Traits Smooth or shiny appearance, Cylindrical or elongated body, Especially long legs
Web style Cobweb


Additional Remarks

  • Legs are very, very long and thin; delicate-looking. They are grayish-brown with bands of white and black at the joints. Front legs on an adult can be up to 50 mm (~2″) in length, sometimes more.
  • Eggs are usually visible through the translucent abdominal cuticle of the gravid (pregnant) females.
  • May invade the web of other spiders and eat them, including members of their own species. Can also catch and eat other large spiders that walk into their web, including things like the “hobo spider,” the “giant house spider,” and even large “wolf spiders.”
  • Females wrap their eggs in a few strands of silk and carry them in their chelicerae (jaws); they may lay up to three egg sacs in her lifetime, each one about 30 eggs.
  • Mother doesn’t usually feed at all while she holds the eggs in her mouth, however they’re occasionally witnessed hanging their egg sac in the web temporarily in order to feed, preen, or mate (Eiseman & Charney 2010).
  • Spider may quickly “bounce” up and down in their web if feeling threatened. This is where the (not often used) nickname “vibrating spider” comes from.
  • There is a persistent rumor that this spider (or others in the same family) has the most potent venom of all spiders, but there’s never been a single shred of scientific evidence to back this up. Arachnologists think their venom is not very potent at all, even when used on insects.
  • The common name “daddy longlegs” has/is also used for harvestmen (which are arachnids, but aren’t spiders) and some crane flies (flying insects not related to spiders).

Featured Pictures

Picture of Pholcus phalangioides (Long-bodied Cellar Spider) - Female - Lateral,Webs Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Pholcus phalangioides (Long-bodied Cellar Spider) - Female Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Pholcus phalangioides (Long-bodied Cellar Spider) - Female - Dorsal Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Pholcus phalangioides (Long-bodied Cellar Spider) - Female Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Pholcus phalangioides (Long-bodied Cellar Spider) - Female - Eyes Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Pholcus phalangioides (Long-bodied Cellar Spider) - Female - Eyes Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Pholcus phalangioides (Long-bodied Cellar Spider) - Female - Egg Sacs,Lateral Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Pholcus phalangioides (Long-bodied Cellar Spider) - Female - Dorsal,Egg Sacs Enlarge picture icon
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