Something Alien

Daddy Long-legs Spider (Pholcus phalangioides)

Whenever I see this species of spider I find the way it holds itself as it clings to a surface makes it look quite alien. I mainly find these in my garden sheds or garage, and occasionally they will venture indoors into my home.

Also called the ‘Cellar Spider’, this spider has distinctively long slender legs. The carapace and abdomen are pale greyish-brown. Body length up to 10mm in both sexes.

When they are disturbed they vibrate their bodies rapidly and become a blur to put off predators. The females carry their fairly large and visible eggs in their jaws. They predate on other insects, catching them in their sticky webs, and then grasping them with their long spindly legs.

Seen all year round. This spider is often found upside down in a loose, almost formless web in sheds, garages, and other outbuildings, houses and always indoors. They are also found in caves. Commoner in warmer climes and fairly widespread.

Photographs taken April 2007, garden shed, May 2012, on garden bin, June 2014, on rear fence, and July 2015, rear garden, Staffordshire.

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