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Daddy-long-leg Spider

Pholcus opilionoides
Pholcus opilionoides
Did you know that… ?
  • …daddy-long-legs spiders resemble Harvestmen (Leiobunum), but unlike Harvestmen, have a clearly segmented body?
  • …daddy-long-legs spiders have eight eyes on their heads?
  • …daddy-long-legs spiders live not only in houses, but also caves?
  • …when disturbed, this spider can vibrate its web up to 8 Hz, with an amplitude of nearly 1 cm?
  • …the genus Pholcus contains over 120 species, found over all the world except Australia?
Pholcus by Slovenian Museum of Natural History
General info
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Size: 5 cm
Food: insects, other spiders
Habitat: basements, room corners
Distribution: northern hemisphere
Relationship with humans: useful

Daddy-long-legs, like other spiders, are excellent hunters of small insects, such as mosquitoes. They also hunt other spiders, including their own species. There are commonly encountered in bathrooms. In corners of rooms, they build an unkempt net, in which they wait for prey, usually hanging upside down. When disturbed, this spider can shake its net so violently that it practically disappears from a potential predator's sight. It performs the shaking by shifting its weight from side to side. During the summer, females use their mandibles to carry a clutch of up to thirty grayish eggs, which they set aside only to eat. After hatching, the female guards the young for about nine days. Daddy-long-legs live for around three years.