Stumped two Universities so far with this amazing white spider…
February 20, 2007
Hello there:
So far two Universities have no idea what this amazing white spider is. It was found with many others in an old house my friend *was* considering buying in Easton, CT. ABOUT PHOTO: Subject’s photo was taken in Easton, CT- USA. Estimated size 2-4 inches. This photo has not been altered in any way except reduction of resolution. Oh, the spider was very much alive. Many of his brethren too. In fact, my friend could not sleep for many nights after observing all the crawling.

Hi Cary,
The reason we asked if the spider was alive is that this looks like it could be a fungus infection on one of the spiders in the Pholcus genus. Your further clarification tends to rule that out. We do not recognize your spider, nor have we ever seen a spider that resembles this. Sadly, your image does not have enough critical focus to reveal any details. We will try to search for information as well as check with some of our contributors. One of our readers wrote back to us: ” Oh gee, this is really ridiculous-looking. Sorry but no way is this thing alive, despite what Cary’s friend said. There is no real focus, so you can’t even be sure what you are looking at, but to me it looks either as you say, like a dead 2 inch daddy-long legs completely ‘bloomed out’ with a fungal growth, or perhaps more likely it is a molted exoskeleton hanging on an external wall which got coated with freezing condensation (sort of like frozen dew) in winter. I can well believe there were living daddy-long legs running around in the basement in this place, but they would have been normal color and normal appearance, not like this. “

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Location: Connecticut

89 Responses to Unknown Unusual Spider or Fungus Infection (Torrubiella pulvinata)

  1. jwatson923 says:

    oh my god!
    I’ve seen this spider. Get this, earlier this week my girlfriend and I were looking into renting this old farm house near a lake in central Maine. I decided to go into the basement to check out the oil tank & brought a flashlight. As I opened the door to the bulkhead and walked into the basement i noticed that it was damp and there as a dirt floor, the house was old and the foundation was made of granite rock. Before I stepped completely into the basement i scanned the area with my flashlight to make sure i wasn’t going to walk into anything i didn’t want to. As I turned the flashlight toward the ceiling i saw this thing wince as I shined the light on it. I took a closer look and it was a white (completely white) spider with wierd legs. there were like knuckles on the legs that were the exact shape & size of pellets or bee-bees for a pellet gun and yes the spider was alive. So I scanned the area further and there were many of these spiders moving as to shined the light on them. They stood out so easily hanging off the old dark wood beams, being that they ware bright white. I decided to go online to search out this spider, because I have never seen anything like, and was tired of trying to describe this insect to people who looked at me like i was going insane,after many hours of searching i found this posting, but that is definately the spider and it was definately alive.

  2. superwade57 says:

    Hi There, I love in south central Wisconsin, luckily it didnt take me hours to find this posting but i fear it will take a long while to get answers… i recently found hundreds of these spiders in various stages of life, alive, i bug bombed them tho, sadly, to ease my sisters piece of mind. here are teh details that i see pertinent. i found these spiders while winterizing my sister’s basement(old Farm house) dirt floored basement. their basement is divided, this is the part that no one ever goes into. ever. so this coupled with wincing at light and the obvious white color leads me to an albino thought. i collected several specimens ranging in size from fitting completely on a #2 pencil eraser tip to the largest one i saw about half the width of a dollar bill. ill try to find a way to post some pics maybe any ideas or questions PLEASE contact me

  3. sir didymus says:

    I have that spider too. I was down messing with the water heater and I saw a couple of these guys. It was something straight out of a nightmare (not a spider fan). However, I was also very curious, so I managed to get one of the carcasses (all dead, thankfully) into a mason jar and I called my well educated friend. She said it is a daddy long legs covered in fungus. They like the moisture, but sometimes run into that problem. On close inspection it is pretty clear that it’s something covered in fungus. the body looks like a Q-Tip.

  4. ihatespiders says:

    I have this spider tons of them in my basement i have some pictures as well Are they harmful I don’t know I just started getting them which is wired because a couple of weeks ago i went in the basement and they were not there, if you wish to see the photos please email me i dont know how to post them on here?

  5. gizardcity says:

    My neighbor here in Michigan just found one this morning like the one shown in the picture. Has there been any updates in knowing what type it is and if it is poisonous? I am very cautious of spiders ever since I was bit by a Brown Recluse Spider.

  6. michelleb says:

    I’ve seen this too! It was in an old musty unfinished basement in west New Jersey, there were tons of these spiders all over the place, all about 2-3 inches big, tho I’m pretty sure they were all dead. They certainly freaked me out, I didn’t even think about fungus, I just knew I never wanted to see one of them alive! I have been calling them scary ghost spiders ever since!

  7. dpcoffin says:

    I took some pretty large, clear pix of a dead spider so infected recently; they’re here:

    Hate to think of a thing like that being still alive…ew!

  8. meuw35 says:

    I found one in the basement also, I think he is dead though, I also had seen them in another house that I looked at in Bradford Ma. Mine is in Groveland Ma. I also have pictures where do I post?

    • bugman says:

      Just go to Ask What’s That Bug? and click the link for “Do you have a bug you want identified?”

  9. patc6661 says:

    I was working at this old house that we’re rebuilding, and I saw these spiders on the ceiling of the basement, me and my brother have arachnophobia so it didn’t go over too well, but when I was looking at it it occured to me that these could be daddy long legs that have evolved too dark, damp places.

    p.s: the two we saw we’re alive and moving.

  10. Ladybug says:

    My son is looking for his first home and he and my husband went to look at an older home last night. They came back with tales of this spider that belonged in a horror flick. I thought they were pulling my leg so we goggled it. It is THIS spider! It was in an old home, in the dirt floor basement, they said that there were literally thousands of them. My husband could not get over how white they were or the “knuckles” that were on the legs!
    Thankfully my son does not like the house and will not be buying it! Which is good because “Mom” would NOT be visiting!! :)) BTW, we are in Elmvale Ontario in case you are trying to track where these spiders are being found.

  11. Isius says:

    Man! Those pictures give me the shivers. I had noticed that when a certain type of spider in our house dies, in moist areas, it molds.. but ONLY that type of spider. And they only mold -after- death. Anyway, I was searching info on that when I came across this….

    I had a thought. Could the ‘knuckles’ on them be because the exoskeleton there would be soft? At the joints? Same with the main body being softer so more spores or whatever come out. Sorry for not knowing the technical terms heh. Also – they were ‘wincing’ in the light, but were they running around? Could it be the fungi itself reacting to the light? o.o Well I guess if you guys knew the answers you wouldn’t be posting here haha, but I like to throw questions out there.

    But dang, I can’t imagine seeing hundreds of these guys. I don’t have arachnophobia, but my mom does, and her fear has rubbed off a tiny bit on me. Makes me shudder thinking about these guys.

    (I also feel sorry though 🙁 If they are being killed by this mold, and if they are still alive for a while as it kills them, I hope its not too painful D: )

  12. josh says:

    i was helping my buddie work on his old farm house and there was maybe 20 of these spiders in the bastment all very much alive it looks like biger spiders are eating the young i thought they were dead till i watched them for a little while and they were moving very

  13. SBurns6576 says:

    I to have seen this spider!!!!They are in the basement of this elderly lady I care for. Some are dead but some very alive. There are tons of them 2-4 in. in size. the basement has a dirt floor and nothing much in it just the water heater, and a heater. The house is very old and no one goes down there. I am very concerned that this lady will get a bite from one of this things. There is no other spiders in her basement just the white ones with alot of dead centipedes in their webs. I saw one feeding on a centiped or wapping it up for later I didn’t look that close! If anyone knows what they are I need help for this woman I tryed spray but they just come BACK!!
    If you can help e-mail me

  14. SBurns6576 says:

    Sorry I am in northen IL. if you are trying to track this beast!

  15. tstar02 says:

    I saw this spider today & totally freaked. I hate spiders! I am working on a vacant home we own in western MD. I saw one of these about 3″ around with many little ones around it. I sprayed them all, along with the entire basement, with some king of indoor/outdoor bug killer. All of the spiders were alive & moving. Hopefully, I killed them all!!!

  16. preston says:

    Ya I was just in my basement for a tornado warning and we saw the same spider.we found it on this cement block. It fell from the ceiling and my mom smashed it with her shoe we did not get any pictures of it but it was really weird looking. It was also squirming on the block. We are located in Pennsylvania if u r wondering

  17. petersetlak says:

    I have a really good pic of one of these – how do I post it? I found them in my girlfriend’s basement in Carthage, NY – all the ones I saw were dead…

    • Chris Hankey says:

      I just found some in my crawl space. Thought they looked like something from the North Pole. Very much alive. Has anyone found out if they are poisonous or not?

  18. beaner1993 says:

    k, that spider does exist. i was cleaning out my buddys basement in PA. and i found two of them they do move, fast too. i wish i would have caught it but i hate spiders so i dident but this spider is real and as it sounds it lives in old wet base4ments, i would like to kno what it is too so.

  19. cestlavie22 says:

    Man these things are nasty. My girlfriend and i were looking at a house for sale in Upton, MA. House has been vacant for 2 years and is an older home with a granite foundation. Went to check out the basement and saw one of these guys hanging from the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs. Stopped me dead in my tracks due to how weird it looked. Wasn’t moving but when i blew at it it was very much alive lol. Nasty weird looking spider for sure saw enough of that basement

    • bugman says:

      Thanks. We keep hearing from people that the spiders are in fact alive, but we still believe they are suffering from a fungus infection.

  20. kalendello says:

    I’m not afraid of spiders, but I’ll tell you, this spider creeps me out like you would never believe.

    Similar to the other stories, I live in northeastern US; in NJ, 10 mins outside of Philly. I live in an 1800’s schoolhouse converted into condos. The basement gets wet when it rains… and we’ve broken records for the amount of rainfall in a month, and that’s before the hurricane.

    I spray the basement with Home Defense Max, and 2 days prior, I had sprayed right where I saw this thing today.

    Maybe they’re mummified spiders, and they’re coming back to life to take over the world… starting with Northeastern US?

    In all honesty, I’m so creeped out, I’m scared to put my feet under the desk…

    Here are some pictures.

    • bugman says:

      Thank you for supplying more information on this perplexing mystery. We have had numerous individuals write to us insisting that these creatures are alive and thriving though they appear to us to be dead spiders with a fungal infections.

  21. HadleyGrass says:

    I have numerous examples in my basement, they are not alive, but being very light and still attached to their webs, they move at the slightest breath or breeze. Dead spider or dead Harvestman, either way, death by spore invasion is creepy.

    • bugman says:

      Thanks for supplying your observations. We have had a very hard time trying to convince folks that these are actually corpses.

  22. dn05 says:

    Hi, I have an old farmhouse in Massachusetts. I went to clean out the basement and found lots of these spiders. They were hanging from their webs. I could not tell if they were alive.
    If they are covered in a fungus, does anyone have an idea as to which fungus it would be? Also, is it harmful to humans? Thanks for your help!

    • bugman says:

      We do not have a mycologist on our staff who can provide any information on the possible threat to humans from the fungus that attacks spiders.

  23. Terry.M says:

    I recently found quite a few of these spiders while fixing a water line under my house. They defiantly caught my attention that’s for sure i have studied bugs and arachnids since i was very young. I did not see any alive all where dead and their where quite a few other spiders of different species with webs very close to them. So this makes me wonder what type of fungus this is and does it kill the spiders or just consume the ones already dead, also does it target all spiders or is it species specific. To that end i am going to conduct a few control test and see what i can find out i will post my results and the pic when they are finished and see if we can shed some light on this. On a side note seeing these spiders and reading these story’s reminds me of a fungus from the rain forest i once read about that targets ants and once they are dead sprouts a spore from its head. “not saying theirs any relation here to that just reminded me of something interesting.

    • bugman says:

      Dear Terry.M,
      This is one of the most exciting comments we have gotten ever. We are going to feature this posting after so many years. From our perspective, all spiders we have received images of that were fungus ridden in this manner have been Cobweb Spiders (Hogue) or Cellar Spiders from the family Pholcidae according to BugGuide.

  24. XindianaX says:

    These are not alive!!!!!!!!!All this is is the shell of a spider. Correct me if I’m wrong but spiders do shed like snakes or the correct term for arthropods, it is actually called molting . As far as the white substance well it could be protein or the stuff they made bullet proof skin out of lol thank you

  25. Jessa_KAtara says:

    OMG! yes, I found a few hundred of these in my mothers basement today when I was down there sealing cracks! I looked up and almost messed myself! I watched them move around on the ceiling and freaked myself out! They are VERY much alive and I swear they are waiting till night time to eat someone! They are between 1/2 and 2 1/2 inches in diameter and have the same balls on the joints. I can get a specimen if anyone wants one. My facebook is the most reliable way to reach me, Jennah Kohorst, Lima Ohio. Thanks!! 🙂

  26. vata19 says:

    nope they are alive , i saw one reacting to me taking an old calendar out of a barn , i can tell the difference between a dead spider carcass dangling and a living spider moving its legs .

    • bugman says:

      Thanks vata19,
      We still feel strongly that this is a fungus infection. Perhaps you saw an infected spider before it died.

  27. mamaof2 says:

    i live in delta ohio my husband pulled off some of our mobile home skirting, and it is a massive infestation of these spiders please has anyone fugired out what the are or what is going on to make them look like this.

  28. brindlethorpe says:

    Found one of these in my sump. Here’s the best picture I could manage. It looks pretty clear to me that it is, in fact, covered in white fungus (the picture shows the fuzziness fairly well).

  29. ColdCutMcGuire says:

    I used to work with my dad going into the cellars of very old homes here in Louisville, KY and always saw dozens of these in crawlspaces or areas where the floor was dirt. All obviously inanimate corpses and fully consumed by whatever fungal growth this is. Like a bunch of terrifying multi-stemmed Q-tips hanging from webs. Anyone here who is saying that they were alive either mistook their breath for movement or were currently in the epicenter of an acid trip.

    • John M. says:

      Listen bug man my house was built in 1792 this spider was alive for sure. My first thought was that it is fungus infected. The house has a lot of mold. It is a fungus infested environment.

  30. debbie says:

    we have tons of these and YES some are alive. My husband has sprayed the cellar twice to attempt to rid them which seems an impossible task. We have what is a granite floor, I think…no dirt. There is a lot of moisture right now and tons of mold here and there. These things are most creepy indeed. They have what looks to be new spiders in the webs near them. These things are small to large some of them over 2 inches. Bugman, you should go to someones house and take a look at these. You will be much surprised! You are welcome to come here.. We are in an old B&B that has a ginormous basement. There is not much down there…other than SPIDERS with white knobby legs and they are white. Some of them do move. I thought they did not but I did see one of them move and then I moved quickly, to get out of the basement. Mold is what I thought it was, but why. Why would a spider mold? And THOUSANDS of them???

  31. debbie monahan says:

    Oh I am in southern NH in a town called Rindge thank you

  32. debbie monahan says:

    Please come to my home and look at these guys. You won’t believe it! They are EVERYWHERE in our basement! Creepy knobby legs and ALL WHITE. I think they are covered in MOLD. We have a granite floor, no dirt. There are patches of mold here and there on the floors and the floors are wet right now due to condensation. You really should go and look at these guys so you know what every one is talking about. My husband has been talking about these guys for a couple of years and I finally went down to the basement and voila! THERE THEY ARE and YES I did see them move. They also have another spider in the web right next to that one. These, whatever they are…Are wicked CREEPY! Perhaps movie material?!

  33. Sharon Solms says:

    I found my old damp cellar covered with these things last summer. I had left the celler door open to get some ventilation which means I gave access to lots of flying things and that brought the increased spider population. I hate spiders. It’s not rational. They are about the only things that fill me with fear and horror except maybe the thought of ebola. I called a friend to come see and possibly vacuum them out. He said his old dirt cellar is full of them all the time and if I were to observe over time (which I’m not damn likely to do) I would see that they are a small delicate spider that looks like small daddy long legs and I’ve never cared about them before. Now they become covered with this fungal infection and eventually die. Most of the ones he vacuumed up (or down, the ceiling was covered) were definitely long dead. Some had a little movement in them. I really thought it was an alien invasion. The sad and silly part is that the spider being covered with large white bumpy things is such a non-threatening, not ugly, not scary little guy. They are small enough and delicate enough of build that I probably just never noticed them ..Even for me. I’m keeping the cellar closed so there is no spider food and have only seen one or two and only one white thing. Meanwhile, the mildew and molds are in heaven because there is no opening to fresh air Molds, mildews etc give me breathing difficulty so I’m trying to find funding for some kind of safe ventilation. I’m broke and living on social security. Volunteer services welcome. I’m still not going down there.
    Since I had these show up last summer I have talked to many Vermonters in old houses whose cellars are decorated with these spider corpses. They are not dangerous.
    But is the mold on them dangerous? What is that? Am I breathing it?
    I will post a photo of one my basement arachnids before fungus as soon as I can get strong enough to go back down there. At least once I saw what they started out as I now also feel sad for the little guys. But not too sad. When they first arrived I saw pictures on the news of forest fires out west and it sure looked good to me. Who is going to take a dead one to the local university to have the mold evaluated?

    • bugman says:

      We have no knowledge of the effects on the fungus upon the human respiratory system.

      • Sharon Solms says:

        Dear Bugman, who are you? What is your bug/fungi focus of interest?
        How about posting a list of links to resources about bugs and slimy stuff for us? Please come out and help us in our research.

  34. zisis says:

    To me it seems , they come up from deep inside the earth.
    Their white colour indicates complete darkness – and as they surface on cellars and any other uproute ways they find , they face the most obvious common enemy , fungi.
    As they are not used to that,they either die or survive and slowly evolve.

    Or maybe i am drunk on mead !!! 🙂

    • bugman says:

      We suspect the latter. Nice fantasy though.

      • Zisis says:

        Haha 🙂 i bought a bottle to try at home and see if i like it enough to make myself.Mad for mead!

        On a serious note,i would expect total dark to breed creatures in total white,as there’s no light,no need for skin tincture.
        But it would only make sense if the earth was “dying” from the core outwards,forcing creatures to surface.
        I believe it ages from the soil downwards? Until the core one day will be dry rock or dirt,instead of lava flaming core.
        I replied onto this subject randomly without research,while looking for giant spider’s shapes to make with clay and metal-and place them in the local forest,to see whats gonna come out of it (i am sceptical of the odd horse dropping their rider due to scare so i might abort..)
        Anyway,cheeersss !!

  35. ckinney says:

    I saw these in the basement of a really old farmhouse in northern NJ. They were all dead, just hanging from the ceiling. What a coincidence everyone is finding them in the same places…it would be great if someone gave us a set in stone answer! It would be especially appreciated to know if it is fungus is it harmful to humans!

    • Sharon Solms says:

      I’m on it. There is someone at Cornell who studies fungi and spiders and I am sending the photos to her. I have enough trouble breathing around mildew. Who needs to suffer for spider rot?

  36. Tim McLerran says:

    I live in Biddeford, Maine, and I have also found a few of these in my damp basement. The fungus is torrubiella pulvinata. It’s mentioned in an entry regarding the very creepy but fascinating Cordyceps fungus. Here’s a link to that entry:

    • bugman says:

      Wow, thanks for researching the name of the fungus.

    • Sharon Solms says:

      THANK YOU!
      I haven’t heard back from the other ‘experts’ yet.
      My internet search has not yielded any information about effects on humans of this fungus. I don’t know how you got to it in the first place,, but if you can use that technique for anything regarding human allergies or asthma or general rot, please let us know.

  37. debbie says:

    WOW INDEED! You must be better than the two universities that had no clue! Now we have to find out if this is harmful to humans. of four people in my infested cellar home have severe allergies. I wonder if I may write this off or not? Great research my friend! Thank you so very much! I have over a thousand of these things in my basement. I almost feel sorry for them now. Can you imagine if there were such a fungus attacking us humans?
    Thank you again for the great finding! debbie

  38. Tim McLerran says:

    I haven’t found anything on Torrubiella pulvinata with regard to human health, and it is very likely that the research simply has not been done yet. Since the fungus seems to infect only certain species of spiders, it is likely that it has very specific host requirements. If it can’t infect other spiders, it probably can’t invade human tissue.
    That leaves the possible issue of air-borne toxins released by the fungus, which may be harmful in sufficient quantities. This is the same problem presented by your typical basement mold, which is very likely growing in the same locations that have been described for Torrubiella pulvinata: damp basements and crawl spaces. Consider these tips from the EPA on dealing with mold:

    1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.
    2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
    3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
    4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
    5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
    6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
    7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
    8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
    9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
    10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

  39. Brandi says:

    My fiance came home from work today talking about these spiders.He said they were everywhere under a house he was working on.He said they were all sizes and all dead.Newnan,Ga.

  40. Mike Sastram says:

    I am here to say to the experts if you need live specimens carrollton Virginia has live ones everywhere

    I have been seeing them for years in cellar closed of from all light but this year I found a nest in a open light breezy crawl space under a home

    Are the moving out in the open?
    Once again I can supply live specimens if needed

    • Sharon Solms says:

      A nest?
      What does that mean? Just that there are several there? Please tell me they don’t actually live together of form a community.
      I wonder why the 200 year old, dark, wet cellar did not have spiders looking like this before last year? Which is new, do you think, the spider or the fungus?
      I suspect that any live ones seen will not live long.

  41. Kajetan says:

    These bulbous fluffy things are fungi. They appear on joints and the abdomen cause these parts are soft.

    The fungus is present in these spiders all along but goes live when the spider dies (or if what some say still alive but in high humidity and approaching death).

    I have tons of them at home and never found one alive even though I visit the cellar daily. And I am not surprised people freak out over them. My friend had nightmares for a few weeks after seeing a few, but he’s a wimp.

  42. Kajetan says:

    Also, those must have been some really shoddy universities.

  43. AngieJ says:

    Well we have a strange white one that just bit my friend, knobby knees and all….how do I get a pic on here?

  44. Amanda says:

    I have a live one trapped in a jar. And A LOT of dead ones. If anyone has any idea what this is about please reply to this comment. I’m from Galion Ohio.

  45. tiff says:

    A granddaddy spider with a fungus!! It was moving.

  46. Mariah says:

    We’ve got them too!
    We have an 103 year old four square and found them in the basement cellar under the porch. We never go there, but we went down there when we found a chipmunk coming in and out from our porch foundation. We went down to flush the chipmunk out and fill in the hole when we discovered these fascinating creatures … albeit creepy!
    We live just south of Madison, WI
    We had never seen them before.
    We have the same questions as everyone else.
    Why is this fungus suddenly appearing?
    And, is it harmful to humans?

    Pictures here:

  47. brandon says:

    i have this going on in my 100+ year old cellar as well…. im in central illinois… they scared the heck outta me… since i noticed them, i go down there very little… because of me not going down there much, there was a cat that got down there and died… im certain this had nothing to do with the fungus… however, the fungus has consumed the carcus and is florish very well… i heard that it attacks bats… im concerned for my families health…. i get rent cheap here, and am considering moving because of this….. i have to flip a breaker down there every so often, and, well……

  48. Cassandra says:

    My boyfriend and I live in northern PA and rent a small house on our landlords property. The house sits above a very old basement. I have to go outside and open cellar doors in the ground to get to it. I only ever go down there to do our laundry (which I have recently taken up a laundry mat due to my hatred/fear of the dark creepy basement.) Another important thing to mention about our house is that our bathroom is right over top of the basement. And to whoevers design in this house, never installed any ventilation of any kind in the bathroom. I have one window that is almost always open, and ABSOLUTELY open when we take showers. I have gotten a small fan to try and air the bathroom out as best as possible also. The reason for such description is that we have been online for a few days now researching all we can about these all white, moldy spiders. I’ve noticed almost every post that I have read, all state that they’re finding these spiders in damp places. My question is why I have no spiders like these in my house? Will they eventually come inside? And with the humidity in my home, are we at risk of health problems because of the mold I have seen on these spiders??

    Also, I haven’t yet read anyone post anything about white “sacs” near the spiders but we have that too. None of the spiders were alive but I counted a good dozen before I had enough, but in the cobwebs I counted white balls which I assumed were maybe egg sacs?? Idk, just feeling pretty uncomfortable in my own home, so ANYYY info would be so greatly appreciated!!!

    • bugman says:

      We are not qualified to give health advice regarding the mold’s effect on humans. Cellar Spiders do produce egg sacs.

  49. gerald says:

    i live in western mi. and recently discovered this fastinating fungi divowering the “cave daddylongleggs” .the fungus attaces them like a si-fi movie. wow way too cool. anyway they come infeceted and then quickly are covered and die. i know that people have seen them alive and their eggsacks become infectid as well. o well sleep tight!

  50. SJG says:

    Just found one of these in my basement. Also a farmhouse basement with slate floor and plain dirt joints, built in 1853… no natural light. The first thing I thought was mold of some kind as we also have white crab spiders and this didn’t look like them.

    When I blew on it it moved a little but not like a healthy spider would and it was sort of hanging upside down.

    Thanks for all the info! Very intriguing…

  51. RW says:

    Hundreds of them all over the place under my house in coastal Oregon. All appear dead. Have had a water pipe leak and a wet winter.
    So I guess this spider fungus is all over the U.S.

    • RW says:

      I think it’s just white mold, like you find on rotting fruit sometimes. It just looks mighty weird on dead spiders.

  52. Terry Milholland says:

    The bug man found a spider that looks a whole lot like this. He said he had never seen one like it before. It looked like the one shown, but without the fuzziness. He showed me a picture of it. It was solid white with long legs and round knobs at what looked like joints. It was under my house. I live near Birmingham, Al.

  53. S Dav says:

    Oh man, we had these spiders in the basement of my childhood home. It TERRIFIED me to go down there with those things hanging around. I only remember seeing dead ones. Nightmare fuel. I live in Upstate NY, about 5 minutes away from Cornell. I remember my mom showed her friend who was a professor and dealt with insects and things. She thought it was a fungus. I’m inclined to agree. They seem to only pop up in damp basements with exposed earth. I’m wondering if it’s possible that if it is a fungus, maybe it can began to grow on the spider while it’s still the spider is still alive? Eeech, this is not what I should be looking up at 2:00am.

  54. Richard says:

    I was taking apart my old shed. I found several of these underneath the floor. They were not alive. They looked like they were empty, like something had shed its skin. Also under the shed were a large amount of daddy long legs, so I would have thought they were of the same species before they died or shed its skin.

  55. Tony says:

    I live in North Carolina and I just found hundred of the spider in my crawlspace space all dead but it’s exactly what everyone is describing it looks like a fungus to me too

  56. Tanyuu says:

    Thanks to this page I was able to ID a similar looking poor spider on iNaturialist, as well as get a lead on a similar mold species that attacks another type of spider that I happened upon. Pretty neat, just not so much for the spiders themselves. 🙂

  57. Beaverking69 says:

    I just did some work under a trailer in ohio and seen these everywhere most where dead some looked like they had a little life left, it was damp and dirty under thete but i agree with the first response that they must have some infection or mold or fungus growing on them

  58. sheryl says:

    My friend is a home inspector and saw these for the first time. They are alive but I don’t think they are spiders, they have 4 legs. He said they move by one leg jetting out then the others follow.

  59. Kay says:

    I just seen a few of these today under the trailer I wasn’t sure if they were alive but I decided to research and find out what it was it’s not a great pic but I did take one I don’t like spiders but this interested me because it looked so odd

  60. Crystal Davidson says:

    They are definitely infected with torrubiella pulvinata or a similar fungus. Onle one of the fungi known to infect Pholcus phalangioides (cellar spiders) is confirmed to be fatal, so I am sure they were very much alive. This is a paper about the one fatal species, Engyodontium aranearum, but the abstract confirms that there are multiple species that are non-fatal.

  61. Pamela Hollobaugh says:

    I have them in my garage if they are a spider or another type of bug. I think we have the right to know the effect it can do dead or alive

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