Cellar Spiders

Cellars spiders or Phocidae is the name given to the araneomorph spider family comprising of more than 1800 species divided into 94 genera.

Spiders Belonging To This Family

Genus

Aetana Anansus Anopsicus
Apokayana Arenita Arnapa
Artema Aymaria Belisana
Blancoa Buitinga Calapnita
Canaima Carapoia Enetea
Galapa Hantu Hoplopholcus
Ibotyporanga Kambiwa Micromerys
Litoporus Pholcus Psilochorus
Quamtana Spermophorides Teranga
Tissahamia Uthina Wanniyala
Waunana Wugigarra Zatavua

Species

Long Bodied Cellar Micropholcus fauroti Belisana benjamini

Physical Description & Identification

Adults

Size: Their body is 2 to 10 mm (0.08 to 0.39 inches) long, while their legs can have a length of approximately 50 mm (1.97 inches).

Color: Spiders of this family have a yellow or pale tan body with gray or chevron markings in the middle.

Other characteristics: Thin and fragile, the species possess cylindrical abdomens, with short fangs.

Eggs

Females produce approximately three sacs in their lifetime, with each of them having about 10 to 60 eggs.

Spiderlings

They resemble tiny spiders and crawl to their mother’s body after hatching.

The Web

They make irregularly shaped, messy, non-sticky webs in dark and damp areas. Since the webs lack adhesive qualities, these spiders mostly rely on the irregular pattern for trapping prey.

Are the Species of the Cellar Spider Family Poisonous and Do they Bite

They maintain a passive attitude towards humans and their venom is said to be non-toxic to mankind.

Quick Facts

Other names Carpenter spider, daddy-long-legs spider, vibrating spider, skull spider, granddaddy long-legs spider, vibrating spider
Lifespan Approximately two years
Distribution Continents of America, Asia, Europe, and Africa
Habitat Dark, damp, dingy areas like caves, below rocks, loose barks, burrows of mammals, as well as undisturbed places of human habitation such as cellars and attics
Common Predators Not known
Diet Mosquitoes, small moths, flies and also other spiders species (like house spiders, redback spiders, huntsman spiders)

Did You Know

  • They are known as daddy-long-legs, a name used for other species like Pholcus phalangioides (or long-bodied cellar spider). Other members of the arthropod group like the harvestmen that belong to the category of arachnids but are not spiders.
  • Species of this family are referred to as “vibrating spiders” as some of them may respond with rapid vibrations when their web is even slightly touched. This is perhaps their way of protecting themselves from danger as the movement could make it difficult for the predator to locate the spider.
  • Their gait is an alternating tetrapod one where they move the first right leg followed the second left one and the third right limb.