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Family Pholcidae - Cellar Spiders

 Long-bodied cellar spider - Pholcus phalangioides Spider? Cellar Spider ? 1 of 4 Cellar Spider (Pholcidae) - Pholcus? - Pholcus another small Opilion - Pholcus manueli Pholcidae? - male  Cellar spider ? Smeringopus pallidus - male
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Chelicerata (Chelicerates)
Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Order Araneae (Spiders)
Infraorder Araneomorphae (True Spiders)
No Taxon (Synspermiata)
Family Pholcidae (Cellar Spiders)
Other Common Names
Daddy Longlegs
Explanation of Names
C. L. Koch,1850
80 genera (~1,595 described species) worldwide and 13 genera (49 species total) in BugGuide's range, as per The World Spider Catalog on January 17, 2017.
Legs extremely long and thin, with flexible tarsi. (1) Most species have whitish/gray coloration. (2)
- A. atlanta – Pantropical(3) "At this time, the only known colonies of this spider in the continental U.S. are in southern Arizona and southeastern California." ~R.J.Adams (June 14, 2009)

- C. diluta - TX(4)

- C. lyoni - Introduced to AZ, FL, KS, LA, TX, VA.(5)(6)(7)(8) (this species may spread, so specimens from other states might be possible)

H. pluchei - Mediterranean, introduced elsewhere(3)

Metagonia ?
- M. caudata - according to WSC: "USA to Belize"(3), however "Gertsch, 1986" lists Yucatan Peninsula to Chiapas and San Luis Potosí with only one record in TX that was collected from a Mexican banana bunch.(9) It is not currently listed in the "Catalog of Texas Spiders".(10)

- M. fauroti - Pantropical(11), TX(10), FL

- M. culicinus - Cosmopolitan(3), records in MA, FL and HI(12)
- M. texanus - TX, Northeastern Mexico(13)

- P. americana - Western United States and Southwestern Canada: "Widely distributed in the Western U.S., throughout the Rocky Mountains; also known from one locality in Southwestern Canada. So far not reported from Mexico" (4)).
- P. texana - TX, Northeastern Mexico(4)

- P. cheaha - AL & TN(11)
- P. choctaw - AL(11)
- P. dade - GA(11)
- P. dixie - AL & TN(11)
- P. jusahi - NC(11)
- P. kingi - TN(11)
- P. koasati - AL(11)
- P. lanieri - GA(11)
- P. manueli - introduced synanthrope; Midwestern & Northeastern United States (specific localities in published literature include IL, KS, ME, MN, NJ, OH, PA.(14)(15)(11)
- P. muralicola - only known from MO and KS, though possibly extinct at its type locality: Univ. of Kansas Natural History Reservation. (B. Cutler & H. Guarisco, pers. comm., May 2010 in (11)).(16)
- P. opilionoides - sparingly introduced in North America where distribution is largely unknown (ChH), see related conversation here; also Europe to Azerbaijan.
- P. phalangioides - introduced synanthrope; Cosmopolitan & widespread worldwide.
- P. reevesi - GA(11)

- P. californicus - CA(17), AZ, Mexico(18)
- P. enaulus - AZ, CA, NM, TX, OK, Mexico(18)
- P. globosus - Cosmopolitan(3), FL(18)
- P. hoogstraali - TX, Mexico(18)
- P. tanneri - UT, AZ, NV, TX, CA, Mexico(18)

- P. acanthus - Southern CA(19)
- P. apicalis- CA (although not listed in distribution there is also an 1899 record from Coconino Co., AZ)(19)
- P. bantus - Southern CA(19)
- P. californiae - CA south to Northern Mexico(19)
- P. coloradensis - caves in North-Western CO(19)
- P. concolor - Big Bend National Park, TX(19)
- P. hesperus - Pacific Northwest inland into ID(19)
- P. hooki - Southern CA(19)
- P. imitatus - "98th parallel westward to 112th parallel, north into Montana and south into Western Texas" (Records include: CA, CO, KS, MT, NE, SD, TX, UT & WY)(19)
- P. inyo - Central to Southeast CA(19)
- P. pallidulus - Southern TX into MX(19)
- P. papago - Southern CA, AZ, Western NM into Mexico(19)
- P. pullulus - Eastern KS, east to FL and north into Canada(19)
- P. redemptus - Southern TX into Mexico(19)
- P. rockefelleri - AZ, NM(19)
- P. simoni - CA, OR, and Europe(19)
- P. texanus - Southern TX south into Mexico(19)
- P. topanga - Known only from Topanga Canyon, Los Angeles Co., CA(19)
- P. utahensis - Southwestern United States(19)

- S. pallidus - Cosmopolitan(3), TX & FL(20)

- S. senoculata - Holarctic, introduced elsewhere(3)
Dark areas of houses or basements/cellars. Some live under stones in dry temperate or subtropical areas. (2)
Life Cycle
Video of cellar spider laying eggs:
The only cellar spider in North America that has the pointed abdomen and the trapezoidal-like shape in side view is Crossopriza lyoni.

"Artema atlanta is the largest pholcid in the world and was introduced to North America. At this time, the only known colonies of this spider in the continental U.S. are in southern Arizona and southeastern California." ~R.J.Adams (June 14, 2009)


MYTH BUSTER ... "Stop the Urban Legend!"
Is the “Daddy Long-Legs” the most venomous spider? NO...Absolutely Not
There are 2 groups of Arachnids commonly called "Daddy Long-legs" & neither are dangerous to people.

Group I:
ARACHNIDA: Opiliones (syn. Phalangida)
Commonly called "Harvestmen" or "Daddy Long-legs," Opiliones DO NOT POSSESS VEMON nor a delivery system.

Group II:
ARACHNIDA: Araneae (True Spiders)
Family: Pholcidae, "Cellar Spiders"
Although these are "true spiders," their venom is mild and not considered dangerous to vertebrates (incl. humans).
Internet References
Bernhard Huber's Pholcidae website (amazing!):

World Spider Catalog (2017). World Spider Catalog. Natural History Museum Bern, online at, version 17.5, accessed on January 17, 2017.
Works Cited
1.How to Know the Spiders
B. J. Kaston. 1978. WCB/McGraw-Hill.
2.Spiders and Their Kin: A Golden Guide from St. Martin's Press
Herbert W. Levi, Lorna R. Levi, Nicholas Strekalovsky. 2001. St. Martin's Press.
3.World Spider Catalog
4.New World pholcid spiders (Araneae, Pholcidae): a revision at generic level
Bernhard Huber. 2000. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, no. 254.
5.Spider Genera of North America with Keys to Families and Genera and a Guide to Literature (3rd edition)
Vincent D. Roth. 1993. American Arachnological Society.
6.Crossopriza lyoni (Araneae: Pholcidae), a synanthropic cellar spider newly discovered in Kansas
Hank Guarisco & Bruce Cutler. 2003. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 106(1 & 2):105-106.
7.A Spider New to Virginia collected on HSC Campus
8.Crossopriza lyoni and Smeringopus pallidus: cellar spiders new to Florida (Araneae: Pholcidae)
G.B. Edwards. 1993. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, Entomology Circular, No. 361:1-2.
9.The spider genus Metagonia (Araneae: Pholcidae) in North America, Central America, and the West Indies
Gertsch, W. J. 1986. Texas Memorial Museum Speleological Monographs.
10.Catalogue of Texas spiders
Allen Dean. 2016. ZooKeys 570: 1-703.
11.Revision and cladistic analysis of Pholcus and closely related taxa (Araneae, Pholcidae)
Bernhard A. Huber. 2011. Bonner zoologische Monographien 58: 1-509.
12.On the distinction between Modisimius and Hedypsilus (Araneae, Pholcidae), with notes on behavior and natural history
Huber, B. A. 1997. Zoologica Scripta .
13.Notes on the Neotropical spider genus Modisimus (Pholcidae, Araneae), with descriptions of thirteen new species from Costa Rica
Huber, B. 1998. Journal of Arachnology.
14.The identity of the small, widespread, synanthropic Pholcus (Araneae, Pholcidae) species in the northeastern United States
Bruce Cutler. 2007. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 110(1): 129-131.
15.New American spiders
Willis J. Gertsch. 1937. American Museum Novitates 936: 1-7.
16.A new pholcid spider from Northeastern Kansas (Arachnida: Araneida)
O. Eugene Maughan & Henry S. Fitch. 1976. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 49: 304-312.
17.New spiders from Utah and California
Chamberlin, R. V. & Gertsch, W. J. 1929. Journal of Entomology and Zoology.
18.Revisión taxonómica de Physocyclus Simon, 1893 (Araneae: Pholcidae), con la descripción de especies nuevas de México
Valdez-Mondragón, A. 2010. Revista Ibérica de Aracnología.
19. A review of the cellar spider genus Psilochorus Simon 1893 in America north of Mexico (Araneae: Pholcidae)
J. Slowik. 2009. Zootaxa 2144: 1-53.
20.Spider Genera of North America with Keys to Families and Genera and a Guide to Literature (2nd edition)
Vincent D. Roth. 1985. American Arachnological Society, Gainesville, Florida.