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
About the Daddy Long Legs Spider
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: A Wild Australia Guide, by Patrick Honan.
96 pages. This is a smaller spider guide showing the most well known spiders and then a few more.
From the publisher, "Australia is home to more than 2000 known species of spiders - and it is estimated that four times that number actually exist in this country waiting to be discovered! Within the ranks of Australian spiders we find some of the most uniquely interesting and skilled creatures of the animal world, along with a few potentially-deadly species and even more harmless individuals with fearsome reputations. Love them or loathe them, spiders are a part of everyday life, and this Steve Parish WILD AUSTRALIA GUIDE provides an insight into the lives of some of these often-reclusive visitors to our gardens, homes and wild places. From how to identify them and where they live, to their unique skills and behaviours, this guide lets you get up close to some of the most common Australian spiders. Who knows? You may even find some of these fascinating creatures living right under your nose."
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