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White Spider Unknown

I have been searching the internet to find a pair of spiders (maybe) that I found in my basement cellar. The door hasn't been opened in probably about 1 and a half years when my boyfriend bought the house. I don't have a picture but I will try to describe them. They look like daddy long legs (I know those aren't spiders) but it is bright white instead of the grey brown color. At each of it's leg joints there is a white ball. As far as I could tell the legs were black. I live in Mansfield, Ohio if that helps at all...

Thanks for your help!

Cellar Spider?
Sounds like maybe a cellar spider; they get mistaken for "daddy long legs" all the time. They have extremely long legs, with a surprisingly small body, and appear completely hairless. There are several different types, but all have a small "violin" on the thorax and most have marbling or striping on the abdomen. They hang upside-down in their webs, sometimes leaving their webs to hunt. If disturbed, they will create a "hang and spin" action in the web to confuse predators - really neat to watch.

If it is a cellar spider, unless it bothers you, let it stay in your house. They are great at keeping pests down (I actually witnessed one dragging a dead black widow into her web once, as amazing as that sounds considering the size comparison) and they are completely harmless - incapable of penetrating human skin with their fangs.

maybe i can help
1. daddy long legs ARE in fact true spiders. you might mean harvesters (they also have long legs and are often called daddy long legs) which are not in the order Aranae (spiders)

2. from the white around the leg joints i think you might want to check crevice weavers out.

hope that helps

 
Excuse me?
Maybe in Europe "daddy longlegs" is the common name applied to pholcids, but here in the states the name means "harvestmen" (not "harvesters" which are a type of butterfly:-). This is a great example why I am NOT keen on Bugguide going international! Sorry to rant, but this is Wikepedia-type nonsense that compromises the integrity of our entire site.

 
I thought...
... "Harvesters" were ants ;)>. Point taken, scientific nomenclature should be used when known.

 
You're Right...
...it really is a common mistake, though; most people I talk to don't even realize that harvestmen are not spiders. It's a term I choose not to be nit-picky about.

I agree that such simple mistakes are a problem at a website where people are working to classify what they've seen, but I do not see it as a knock against this site as a whole. Although it seems that the majority of people here are armchair researchers, and not entimologists, I was very impressed with how extensive BugGuide is.

There are a lot of knowledgeable people here, with a lot to share; it took less than 24 hours for me to get a 100% positive ID on a spider that I had never previously been able to classify. I had spent DAYS online previously looking for this spider; I went through my National Audubon Society book from cover to cover to no avail...and just for some background I am a regular bug geek; as far as most people go I'm a walking encyclopedia. I personally see BugGuide as an invaluable resource...just needed to throw that out there...

 
really?
i never knew that they were only called daddy long legs in europe.
oh man you leanr something new everyday. that is also why there are scientific names not only common names

i also meant harvestmen, not harvesters. dont know where that came from
i didnt really read that on wikipedia. i remember reading it as a kid somewhere. oh well.

thanks for the info eric.

 
Clarification.
I constantly battle my own personal issues of legitimacy within the entomological community. I am not a degreed professional, though I have worked as an entomologist. Therefore, I do take it personally when a website I am affiliated with has accuracy problems. It is a bad reflection on ME. I know, not fair, I need to "get a life," etc. Still, wanted to let you know where I'm coming from (full disclosure). Oh, and I am not at all opposed to Bugguide splitting into several sites that are 'collectively' global.

 
confused
are you replying to my comment or enigmagirl?

we ALL make mistakes. i dont see why it is such a problem. maybe i make mistakes a little too often, but thats how i learn. and as long as i have somebody correcting me (like you eric) and the mistakes dont continue, i dont see the problem of making mistakes. the only time mistakes become an issue is when they are often repeated.

i think we all need calm down. i made a mistake, got corrected and learned from it. i promise it wont happen again. you guys are inflating it, making it seem like i disgraced bugguide or personally disgraced you.

i made a mistake and got corrected. now its on the forums for anyone about to make it, PERIOD

 
The white around the joints w
The white around the joints was more on the legs than attached to the body. I checked out the pictures of the cellar spiders in the images section. Although they looked very similar, (long thin legs small body) I could not find one like the ones I saw. I guess I'll just have to take a deep breath and open the door again to see if I can get a picture....

Thanks for all your help I will hunt down my camera now =o)

 
White Spiders in my cellar too!!
We just bought a house and while inspecting a damp, dark corner of the Century Old basement we discovered a colony (not sure if thats the proper term) of these white, almost phosphorescent spiders. Considering the proximity to nearby brownfields, our minds were intrigued as to the uniqueness of the spiders. But I guess thats out the door now, ha.

They did have the same ball shaped joints, twice the size of the actual legs. They look more like a sac-type spider than anything else.

Are yours completely hairless?

 
white spiders
I'm not sure if they had hair or not... I tried not to get TOOOO close in case they were poisonous or something... I can't find my camera, is there any way I can take a picture with my camera phone and send it to someone...?

 
Cellar Spider/Daddy-long-legs
There's a pretty easy way to tell if it's one of these or not. Just go down and see how long the legs are. If the are really long like here, then the ID's pretty certain. If that doesn't convince you, then try poking the web with a stick and see if you can invoke the "whirling" defense.

 
house centapede
we find house centapedes in our basement all the time. my mom freaks out when she sees one. and your probably going to freak out also when you hear this. i like them! i also like going different places and searching for new insects! i hope you liked my comment!

 
white spiders
You are all going to laugh at me as soon as I tell you this... I went down in the basement to take a picture of the "spiders" last night. This time they looked a little bit different than the last time. I took a closer look and they looked fuzzy. I poked at them with a stick to see if they would move... they didn't. So my conclusion is that they are dead spiders and the bright white color everywhere on them is mold. I'm soooooooo sorry to have bothered everyone with this., but thanks so much for all your help.
~Embarassed....

 
the white spiders
i live in pennsylvania and I have seen them in my basement too. Yes that is their natural color-i poked one with a stick and it moved. I was told that they are harmless and eat the insects and that they are white because they dont get any light. But was told in general to leave them alone.

 
Dead Spiders
Sounds like the first molt of a new group of spiderlings. I'm still suspecting cellar spiders; the young all stay in Mom's web until their first molt, and then they all move on - leaving behind tons of skins in the web.

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