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Long-bodied Cellar Spider (Pholcus phalangioides)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Long-bodied Cellar Spider, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 1/23/2014; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Long-bodied Cellar Spider  
Picture of Long-Bodied-Cellar-Spider
Picture of Long-Bodied-Cellar-Spider Picture of Long-Bodied-Cellar-Spider

The Long-Bodied Cellar Spider should invoke fear within smaller insect prey, but not with humans.

The shape of the abdomen aided in an alternate name for the Long-Bodied Cellar Spider. Although the name Daddy-Long-Legs is as an additional alternate name for this spider, Daddy-Long-Legs is also used to refer to Harvestman, which are not spiders at all though still a part of the arachnid class.

It can be seen bouncing on its own web to make itself harder to see (blurs itself to the observer) as a means of disorienting a predator or threat. They hang up-side-down, waiting for insects to wander into their web.

The Long-Bodied Cellar Spider has very small chelicerae (mouthparts). While they are venomous (like 99% of all North American spiders), they are unable to get a grip onto human skin in order to bite it. Their mouths are simply too tiny.

Picture of the Long-bodied Cellar Spider
Picture of the Long-bodied Cellar Spider

Long-bodied Cellar Spider Information

Category: Spider
Common Name: Long-bodied Cellar Spider
Scientific Name: Pholcus phalangioides
Other Name(s): Skull Spider, Daddy-Long-Legs

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Arachnida
    Arrow graphic Order: Araneae
     Arrow graphic Family: Pholcidae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Pholcus
       Arrow graphic Species: phalangioides

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 6 mm to 10 mm (0.234 inches to 0.39 inches)
Identifying Colors: brown
Additional Descriptors: biting, venomous, long, skinny

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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