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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Daddy Long Leg

Michigan Spiders - Daddy Long Leg-1
Also known as the Vibrating Spider, Cellar Spider and the House Spider.


Abdomen - Elongated

Cephalothorax - Tiny. Usually a tan color.

Female Size - NA

Male Size - NA

Bite Info - It is debatable if the Daddy Long Legs can even bite humans. I have heard Myth Buster proved they can bite but it was very minimal and the feeling only lasted a few moments. Whatever the answer, the fact is these spiders are virtually harmless to people.

Other Notes - The Daddy Long Legs often hang in webs in corners of rooms. They are commonly found in the corners by the ceilings as well by the floors.

Unlike most spiders, these hunt and feed on other spiders. In states where there are more poisonous spiders like the infamous Black Widows and such, the Dadday Long Leg spiders are actually good to have around.

Myth - The popular myth running around is that the Daddy Long Leg is the most venomous spider in the world but that its fangs are not strong enough to penetrate human skin. This belief is not true.

Genus - Pholcidae

41 comments:

  1. I grew up and have lived in Michigan my whole life, this is not a "Daddy Long Leg" This is a Glass Spider, they call them this because of there apperance. Daddy long legs have a round shaped body with long legs.

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    Replies
    1. There are many different types of spiders, all in the same family that are commonly referred to as daddy long legs. Furthermore I can't find any photos of something called a glass spider... there is a David Bowie album. It sounds like local slang. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pholcidae

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    2. what you're referring to is a harvestman spider.

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  2. Daddy Long Leg is a term used for three different critters. One is a spider (the one I list here), one is the Harvestman (the one you are talking about) and the other is the Crane Fly which looks like a giant mosquito.

    The true Daddy Long Leg however, was the spider that I list. What was originally a mistaken identity to call the Harvestman a Daddy Long Leg has been used so commonly that it is now no longer considered to be wrong.

    Today, it is not considered wrong to use the term for any of the three critters I mentioned here. But the Pholcidae, or Cellar Spider. is the original Daddy Long Leg.

    Just to make something else clear, the Harvestman is not a spider like many people believe. Though it is an Arachnid, it is not a spider because it only has one body part where real spiders have two.

    http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/harvestman.htm

    http://www.cirrusimage.com/harvestman.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pholcidae

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  3. Another easy check you can make is to simply go to Google Images. Type in "Glass Spider" and you will find there are extremely few pictures of any real spiders if any at all. Glass spider is more of a term given these spiders by people in your area growing up. Myself, I have never heard of the term until today.

    Now type in "Daddy Long Leg" and you will see that almost all of the pictures are of real spiders. Not only that, but you will find that more of the pictures will be of the spider I list than of the Harvestman.

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  4. i love these guys :) the other spiders are so nasty looking that we get in our house out here in the woods, and i'm glad that "daddy" hangs out in the corners making a meal of them.
    can a daddy long legs take down a much larger spider though?

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  5. I am not sure as to how large of a spider one of these guys can take down. They tend to eat spiders their size or smaller, mosquitoes, and even their own kind as far as I can learn.

    I did see a video of one capturing a spider that had a body much larger but shorter legs to make them close to the same size. But that spider was already stuck in the web.

    Sorry I cannot answer better than this.

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  6. To Sara...I had a black jumping spider with a 1/2 inch abdomen take down a Harvestman yesterday in my backyard, I live in the country. It was quite a fight for 30 minutes as the Harvestman fought diligently bust lost to "Blackie". She makes an appearance everyday so I'll send pics soon. Mickey(White Cloud, MI)

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  7. i have a research about this spider so this info must be true. And if it is not i swer i will tell everyone that your websitestinks and to never get in it!!!!!!!
    wach ou!!!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. I don't think people will take your word for it "Anonymous"...I know for myself, I wouldn't believe anyone who hides behind an unknown name!!! Just sayin, your no one's critic.

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    2. Especially believing someone who does not know how to use proper grammar!

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  8. I just hope you write the research paper better than this comment. :o)

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  9. I think it would be cool to give a more in depth description of all the spiders like the jumping one for instance what makes it jump the way it can how come other spiders cant jump and so on. Anyhow here is the answer... Their well developed internal hydraulic system extends their limbs by altering the pressure of body fluid hemolymph within them. This enables the spiders to jump without having large muscular legs like a grasshopper. As to why other spiders cant jump they don't have the hydraulic system as you see in some jumping cars down the road LOL! just some humor XD.

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  10. "Often it can bite without actually injecting any venom, leaving its bite harmless" you said this on your post about Black Widow spiders. If a Black Widow can bite without injection wouldn't a Daddy Long Leg have the same ability? Because I also watched the episode of Myth Busters, and Adam did get bitten by the Daddy Long Leg, so wouldn't it be possible that the spider simply didn't inject it's venom in to Adam? I also realize they ran a test on two mice were they injected one mouse with the venom of a Black Widow and the second mouse with the venom of a Daddy Long Leg. I know the mouse had no effect to the venom of the Daddy Long Leg but could the Daddy Long Legs venom have a toxin in it which us humans are only effected by? Like us humans can eat chocolate but dogs can't because it will make them sick and die.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laboratory mice/rats are often genetically modified to be analogs for humans, so the venom should affect them in the same way it would a human being. The only strong difference should be in the quantity required, and if the average DLL bite doesn't inject enough venom to harm a mouse, it certainly won't be enough to harm even the tiniest of humans.

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  11. "When it does bite, it leaves nothing more than some irritation and is completely harmless to humans." You also said this about the ORB Weaver spider. May I point out a main point to this ,"COMPLETELY HARMLESS TO HUMANS" I would like to point out that I have asked a question before under the user," Anonymous" and you told me to never let a spider bite you because no matter what the size or type they can cause pain.

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  12. When we speak of a spider being dangerous or harmless, it is according to the effects of the spider's toxin on us humans. Thus the Widow is dangerous and the Daddy Long Leg is harmless.

    You may have the theory of the DDL's bite just not injecting venom at the time, but there is a hole in that theory. There are no records of a human ever being bit by a DDL and having any dangerous effects. Even on Myth Busters when they showed on bite, the very minimal effects went away very quickly. If the DDL's venom was in fact dangerous to us, there would at least be SOME records of those dangerous bites. Especially if the venom was the most potent in the world like the myths say.

    When I mentioned that we should never let any spider bite us, I might have played my words wrong. I would have to go back and check. But I believe I was saying that we should never let one bite us, NOT because of the pain, but because any spider bite can become infected, or cause allergic reactions. There may be some spiders that cannot cause an allergic reaction, but I do not know this for a fact, so I will ALWAYS say not to let one bite you.

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  13. Plus I do believe when I spoke of not letting a spider bite you, the discussion was over the Yellow Sac Spider or the Wolf Spider.

    Yellow Sacs do have a venom similar to the Brown Recluse but not as strong, so on occasions, their bites can be dangerous.

    Wolf SPiders bites are not considered dangerous, but there is some record of their bite becoming infected or causing an allergic reaction, on the rare instance. Thus I would not suggest you let one of those bite you either.

    I still would not suggest you let even a DDL bite you. Not because their venom may be dangerous, but strictly because of the slight possibility of allergic reactions or infection.

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  14. Well, if you say not to let a spider bite you because of allergic reaction or infection, wouldn't that conclude that the Daddy Long Leg spider is harmful to people because a bite can lead to infection or allergic reaction? "harmless to people." You said this, but then said this,"slight possibility of allergic reactions or infection." So? Are they harmful or harmless? Because you're research is not very accurate and is causing confusion.

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    Replies
    1. Any break in the skin can lead to infection. Getting a piercing, a tattoo, blood drawn, paper cut, cat scratch, nipped by a puppy, etc. Stop being a twit.

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    2. You are being way too anal. Stop trying to make yourself look any more stupid! EVERYTHING is harmful! The air you breath the water you drink! It's people like you that cause all the stupid warnings on things. "Don't smoke while using hairspray", "Do not submerge said electrical appliance in water while plugged in", do you need a warning that states: "If not consumed correctly this water may cause possible death from choking"???? Quit being a nuisance and wasting people's time.

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  15. No offense, but I am getting the idea you are leaving these posts to do nothing but be argumentative.

    There is hardly anything that someone cannot be allergic to. But I am not going to say everything is dangerous to us. This site is not about allergies. It is about Spiders. It is to help people identify spiders and to understand spiders. I want to help people get past there fears of spiders, not add to them.

    Several times throughout this site I mention that there is always a chance of an allergic reaction or infection with any bite. But to my understanding, those are rare. So I will say whether a spider is dangerous or harmless according to the potency of its venom and if I can, the pain of its bite.

    By those standards, the Daddy Long Leg is absolutely harmless. The fact that there is only one record I know of showing the DDL can even bite a human, and there is NO record of a bite causing more than a very small blemish that went away in moments, these things say the DDL is Harmless.

    Yet that is not absolute proof that there is nobody who is allergic to its bite and it is not proof that a bite cannot become infected. For THOSE reasons I will NEVER tell ANYONE to let a spider bite them.

    To call the DDL dangerous would be to add senseless fear, and to tell someone it is okay to let any spider bite them would be irresponsible on my part.

    As I said, this site is to help others learn about the spiders around them and to learn they do NOT need to be afraid of all spiders. It is not, however, meant to be a forum for arguing over extremely miniscule points. For that reason, and respect to other readers, I will not allow this to continue here. If you wish to email me and continue, I have no problem with that, but any continuing arguments on this subject in this or any other pages comments will be deleted out of respect to my readers. If in email a truly good point is made and I feel others should know it, I will add it.

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  16. I think you should at least give you're readers a nice big flashing sign that tells them that this is your opinion, and that some of the stuff they read online may be false.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Duly noted.

    Thousands have visited Michigan Spiders. I have had many compliments and many thank-yous for how much my information has helped. You are the only one who has complained and with all due respect, I find your complaint to be very frivolous.

    I have had others bring up points or information I was mistaken on or they believed me to be mistaken. I have given every one of those fair consideration and have made adjustments when I found them to be in the right. However, in this case I just do not find your arguments to be strong enough to warrant a banner or message. I am sorry if this is not to your liking.

    Please make your next comment in email form and send it to MichiganSpiders@Hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. HI! MY NAME IS ART AND LIVE IN ROSCOMMON. I HAVE LEARNED A LOT FROM THIS WEBSITE TONIGHT. I MOVED UP HERE FROM FLINT 3 YRS AGO. EVERY YEAR THIS HOUSE I'VE BOUGHT FILLS UP WITH ALL SORTS OF SPIDERS, ESPECIALLY THE WOLF SPIDERS. I'M TALKING A FEW HUNDRED A YEAR. I HVE ALWAYS FREAKED OUT BECAUSE OTHERS WOULD CRY "THE SKY IS FALLING". SO MUCH HYPE AND NOT MUCH VALIDITY. I AGREE THAT OFTEN THE DOCTOR'S OR HOSPITAL ER MISS DIAGNOSE OTHER PROBLEMS AS SPIDER BITES. AT ANY RATE, I HVE NEVER BEEN BITTEN BY ONE. SNAKE BIT ONCE BY A SPOTTED SOMETHING OR ANOTHER AND HAD A SHOT TO KEEP ME FROM LOCK JAW. AND BECAUSE I'M A PAINTER AND ENJOY THE WOODS AND WATER I'VE BEEN BEE STUNG TOO MANY TIMES I'VE LOST COUNT. OVER 120 STINGS IN ONE SHOT FROM YELLOW JACKETS PULLING JACKPINE STUMPS WITH A BACKHOE AND CHAIN. A DOZEN STINGS ON THE TOP OF MY BALD HEAD FROM A NEST OF WHITE FACED HORNETS. THANK GOD I'M NOT ALLERGIC TO BEE STINGS THAT I'VE SEEN SO FAR. SO THIS SIGHT HAS SET MY MIND AT EASE AS FAR AS THE SPIDERS. NOW I WILL HAVE TO QUIT CUSSING OUT THE CAT FROM STALKING THEM! AS FAR AS OTHERS WANTING TO FIND FAULT WITH THIS WEB SIGHT, ONLY SHOWS THEY WILL ARGUE ABT ANYTHING JUST FOR THE SAKE OF ARGUMENT. AS FAR AS LETTING ANYTHING PURPOSESSLY BITE YOU IS ONLY GOOD TV...AND EVEN THEN SOUNDS PRETTY DUMB TO ME...

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  19. ok reading these posts here.. amazing the hairs people will split over semantics. I mean come on.. lets use some common sense here. weather or not a spider or anything else can cause death.. I would not actively seek to cause or ensure a bit from ANY animal(cat/dog/horse), insect (wasp/hornet/bee), spiders, reptiles, humans.. so on and so fourth soo that being said makes sense to not allow or go out of your way to get bitten in the first place.. and of course.. no one is going to recommend being bitten regardless if its ultimately harmful or not.

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  20. Amen. I think 99.9% of people are not confused by what is meant by "harmless" and would be smart enough not to let a spider bite them. No disclaimer required, unless you feel it is necessary to warn those that also require a "fire is hot" sign next to a campfire. Great site!

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  21. Kenneth, thanks for all the good information. I agree that above person is just being argumentative. and people think spiders are pests...

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  22. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr what spier isthis

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  23. this is, in fact a daddy long leg, but don't get it confused with a harvest men. they look virtually Idintical, except a harvestman has no abdomon.

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  24. Okay, two things. I've been bitten by a horse (open wound) and I've been bitten by spiders.

    I'm more afraid of horse bites, because of the fact that the only time I've been bitten by a horse, it became infected.

    EVERYTHING, can be dangerous.


    On a happy note, I have a question! Everytime I sit on the toilet, I look up at my two DDLs. They're about three inches in diameter (including their legs). One is a very deep, darker brown, and the other is a light brown. They've been in my bathroom for at least six months. (I won't clean my ceiling because of them, because they're the ONLY spider I'm not afraid of, so that makes me love them) Now, is it possible that they could be mates for life? They spend 24 hours a day no more than six inches from each other. Another thing is, One of the DDLs has a ball looking thing, that she looks like she's guarding, is it possible that could be a egg nest? If so, should I destroy the nest?

    Please let me know!

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  25. I was bite (or should I say a little sting) by one that was hanging in my kitchen cupboard a couple years ago. The sting only lasted a matter of seconds but now I am careful when I reach in the cupboard. I probably scared the poor thing half to death...I know it did me. They are all over in the house especially the bathroom and stairwell going to the basement. We tend to just leave them alone. I've seen them do their twirling it almost looks like they're dancing sometimes.

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  27. Huh I didn't know these were daddy long legs. I have always called them wispies. They hung out in the grain barrels on the farm I grew up on and they did bite, and leave a welt.

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