Family Pholcidae - Cellar Spiders
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
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
"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. 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)
- Mediterranean, introduced elsewhere(3)
- 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
- M. culicinus
, 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. 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)
- 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. californicus
, AZ, Mexico(18)
- P. enaulus
- AZ, CA, NM, TX, OK, Mexico(18)
- P. globosus
- 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
, 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)
Video of cellar spider laying eggs: http://vimeo.com/29960640
The only cellar spider in North America that has the pointed abdomen and the trapezoidal-like shape in side view is Crossopriza lyoni
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.
ARACHNIDA: Opiliones (syn. Phalangida)
Commonly called "Harvestmen" or "Daddy Long-legs," Opiliones DO NOT POSSESS VEMON nor a delivery system.
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).
Bernhard Huber's Pholcidae website (amazing!): http://www.pholcidae.de/
World Spider Catalog (2017). World Spider Catalog. Natural History Museum Bern, online at http://wsc.nmbe.ch, version 17.5, accessed on January 17, 2017.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|10.||Catalogue of Texas spiders|
Allen Dean. 2016. ZooKeys 570: 1-703.
|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.