Daddy Long Legs Spider
Family: Pholcidae (Cellar Spiders, Daddy Long-Legs Spiders).
Size: Body 2-10 mm in length with legs up to 50 mm
There used to be a rumour that daddy long-legs spiders have the most toxic venom of all spiders, but their fangs are too weak to penetrate our skin. This has since been debunked on both counts - the TV show Mythbusters demonstrated that their fangs can bite through skin (though they really had to try), and their venom is quite weak acting, even on other insects.
Perhaps partly due to this rumour, there was another rumour that if you ate a daddy long-legs spider you would die. This is even more false, as not only is the venom quite weak, but venom (which acts in the blood stream) is different to poison (which acts when ingested). Therefore eating even highly venomous spiders can be safe, though it would absolutely not be a good idea to deliberately try this out on living or dead spiders.
Note that dead spiders usually fade in colour, so nearly all the spiders will look blacker or darker in colour in real life than they do in the photos of dead spiders from the museum.
Photo taken at Australian Museum, Sydney. High Resolution 4164 x 2653.
Photo taken at Australian Museum, Sydney. High Resolution 2190 x 1587.
Photo taken at Australian Museum, Sydney.
Public domain photo from Wikipedia. High Resolution 1280 x 960.
Spiders of Australia: Australian Green Guides, by Terence Lindsey.
This is a smaller one at 96 pages. From the publisher, "The Australian Green Guides have been created for wildlife enthusiasts of all ages. The most commonly asked questions are answered with particular emphasis on fascinating behavioural insights into both common and unusual creatures.
The pages are alive with entertaining and informative text accompanied by exciting action photography."
Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)
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