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Daddy Long-Legs Spider

Pholcus phalangioides

Daddy Long-Legs Spider , Longbodied Cellar Spider , Long-Bodied Cellar Spider, Cellar Spider, Skull Spider

A daddy longlegs spider Pholcus phalangioides eating a woodlouse

Pholcus phalangioides

by Threedots. CC-BY-SA-3.0

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Daddy Long-Legs are common in households and sheds. They suspend themselves high up in ceiling corners, where they sit and wait for their insect prey. They're most active during the night, but they never move far from their webs. They have large appetites, eating flies and other small insects they cross paths with. They catch prey by flicking silk towards any prey to get close to them. Not to be confused with Harvestmen or Craneflies.
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Traits

Pest control for the home.
They create fine tangles of webs in the corners of ceilings.

Appearance

Adults: These spiders are small, where the female's body length only reaches as large as 8mm. The legs can reach 5x the body size, so around 4cm total. Tip: A cranefly and harvestmen are also sometimes referred to as daddy long-legs. The cranefly can be distinguished by the wings, which is lacking in spiders. Likewise, a harvestman has one body part only, as opposed to spiders who have two main body parts which are adjoined by a structure known as a pedicel.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Araneae

Family

Pholcidae

Metamorphosis

Incomplete

Distribution

Europe and the UK; North America

Biological treatment

Although unsightly, these spiders provide a natural (and free) form of biological control for the home. They should be tolerated wherever possible. It's thought they dislike peppermint essential oil. The oil can be diluted with water and sprayed near doors and windows.

Attracts

Peppermint

Mentha × piperita

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