Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Pholcus phalangioides (Fuesslin 1775)
Explanation of Names
Phalangium, the genus of harvestmen/daddy-longlegs + -oides (οιδης)- "like, resembling" (only seen as an ending).
Body length, excluding legs, ranges from 6-10mm. The leg span can get quite large, though.
It will be rare for BugGuide to get submissions of any of the ten endemic (native) Pholcus, so it will mostly only be the three (so far) introduced/non-native species that we will see and need to differentiate, thus here is a cheat sheet pertaining to those three in particular:
Pholcus manueli has two dark, vertical stripes on the clypeus (the space between the bottom row of eyes and the beginning of the chelicerae), while P. phalangioides & P. opilionoides do not. The dark medial mark on the carapace of P. manueli is more distinctly divided than the medial mark on P. phalangioides. And P. opilionoides can be separated from the others by the dark marks on the lateral border of their carapace. P. phalangioides also gets bigger than the other two species, at least twice as large in some cases. Also, the eyes are much more closely grouped in P. manueli than in P. phalangioides.
P. manueli       vs.       P. phalangioides         vs.       P. opilionoides
As a synanthropic species, it is cosmopolitan and widespread throughout North America and the rest of the world.
Generally found in and around man-made structures, or in other types of disturbed habitats.
Insects and other spiders; prey much larger than themselves don't seem to pose a problem for them. For example, a hobo spider, large wolf spider, and crane fly in the following examples:
The female binds her eggs together with a few strands of silk and then carries the bundle in her chelicerae (jaws).