Daddy Long legs
Scientific Name: Pholcus phalangioides
First Record: 1864
Latest Record: 2020
Recorded altitude range: 0m to 415m
A small, bodied spider with very long legs measuring between 6-8mm in length, a widespread species throughout England and Wales, although absent from much of northern Britain. A common sight in our households, this spider is almost part of the furniture. Favouring the warmth of sheds, garages, and houses they are rarely seen outdoors and cannot survive the cold temperature of winter.
Habitat and Ecology
In the UK, this species is found almost exclusively found dwelling in buildings; you are most likely to see them in a ceiling corner of a cellar or bathroom staying still for most of the time except when disturbed or searching for a mate.
Daddy long legs will vibrate in their webs violently when disturbed as a warning sign to other predators. It also uses this technique to steal prey from other spiders webs! Their webs are quite messy but they are not picky about what prey they catch, eating various insects and even other spiders including the house spider!
There is a myth that the Daddy long legs have the most dangerous venom but does cannot bite. This isn’t true, whilst they do have venom, it isn’t particularly potent, and their jaw is too weak to pierce through human skin.
Why are they important?
Daddy long legs are useful to have in the house, keeping things in balance. They eat flies who could pass on various bacteria as well as other insects. It is extremely unlikely to be bitten by a daddy long legs spider.