Currently viewing the category: "Cellar Spiders"

Subject:  What’s this arachnid?
Geographic location of the bug:  Casa Grande, AZ (Sonoran Desert)
Date: 06/26/2019
Time: 08:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this “little” guy in my house he’s about 4 inches in diameter its currently summer here in AZ. He was climbing the wall. Didn’t find a web or eggs. We get a lot of crickets around here so that may be his diet.
How you want your letter signed:  Gaston

Male Cellar Spider

Dear Gaston,
This appears to us, based on this BugGuide image, to be a harmless male Southern House Spider, a harmless species that is often mistaken for the highly venomous Brown Recluse.

Update:  Cellar Spider
Cesar Crash provided a comment indicating this is a member of the genus Physocyclus, a Cellar Spider, and this BugGuide image would support that identification.

Subject:  Spider with eggs?
Geographic location of the bug:  England
Date: 06/26/2018
Time: 07:17 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, I found this (girl, I assume) living in my back room in a corner. I  thought it had an oddly shaped body, but it appears to have eggs.  Can you identify this spider?
How you want your letter signed:  Cat

Daddy Long Legs Spider

Dear Cat,
Your Spider is
Pholcus phalangioides, and according to the British Arachnological Society:  “High up where the ceiling meets the wall, fine tangles of web are often the bane of the house-wife. Suspended upside down in these fine silken strands is a long-legged spider, Pholcus phalangioides, the Daddy Long-legs Spider. During the day they remain perfectly still and are usually ignored by people. If disturbed, however, they will rapidly vibrate up and down in the web. They are only found inside buildings, particularly in southern England. At night, males go in search of females. When a female is detected, the male gently vibrates her web and after some time approaches very slowly before attempting to mate.  Pholcus catches any unwary insect that gets caught in the web and quickly trusses it up in a bundle of silk. Pholcus will also feed on other spiders that come in range, including their own kind. Having long legs is an advantage when dealing with potentially dangerous prey because Pholcus can draw threads from her spinnerets and flick them at the intruder from a distance. At the same time, the spider keeps itself well away from any danger. Once they are bound up, Pholcus bites its victim. Females can be seen with their eggs held between their chelicerae (jaws). The spiderlings that hatch stay around their mother’s web. As they grow and moult they move further apart for, should one find another, it will eat its brother or sister.” According to Nature Spot:  “Their horizontal webs are large, loose and flat, but they can make them any shape to fit into surrounding objects. They hang upside down on the web and if disturbed will shake violently. These spiders are effective predators of household pests including other spiders. They throw silk at their victim and, once snared, will bite, envenomating their prey – they’ll even go out hunting other spiders including Tegenaria species. They are also cannibalistic – eating each other if food is scarce. On the other hand the females are excellent mothers. They carry their eggs in their mouths and have been seen feeding their young.”  This species is also found in North America where the common name is Longbodied Cellar Spider or Cellar Spider according to BugGuide where it states:  “Generally found in and around man-made structures, or in other types of disturbed habitats.”

Subject:  Is that you Big Daddy?
Geographic location of the bug:  Ventura, Ca
Date: 02/23/2018
Time: 08:39 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
This long legged creature has been spotted in several locations in my home over the past few weeks. It is fairly sefentary, and often spotted while striking a pose, but rarely in action.
How you want your letter signed:  Melanie on the Irish Chain

Long Bodied Cellar Spider

Dear Melanie on the Irish Chain,
The Long Bodied Cellar Spider,
Pholcus phalangioides, is also commonly called a Daddy Long Legs or Cobweb Spider.  According to BugGuide:  “Generally found in and around man-made structures, or in other types of disturbed habitats” and that includes houses and apartments.  Long Bodied Cellar Spiders are considered harmless to humans.

Subject:  Is this spider poisonous
Geographic location of the bug:  Milton ny
Date: 12/02/2017
Time: 08:25 PM EDT
Found in the basement.  Wondering if it is dangerous to people
How you want your letter signed:  Mary e

Fungus Infested Cellar Spider

Dear Mary,
When it was alive, this Cellar Spider was not a threat to humans.  Like most Spiders, Cellar Spiders are venomous, but the bite is not considered a threat to humans.  This Cellar Spider is dead and being consumed by Fungus.  Cellar Spiders with Fungus Infestations are relatively common in our archives.

Thank you!
Quite an unusual image
When I put the photo in google images
Google identified it as some kind of light.
( does look like lightning)
Wondering if the mold that killed the spider is dangerous to humans..

Subject: White spider
Location: Southern Minnesota
December 19, 2016 1:57 pm
Found tons of these in my friend’s basement and barn. I think it is a cellar spider but when I touched it it took off crawling. They were everywhere. What could cause the white coloration? And every one I tried to touch crawled away
Signature: T. Arends

Cellar Spider with Fungus Infection

Cellar Spider with Fungus Infection

Dear T. Arends,
This is a Cellar Spider and it has a lethal fungus infection.  If it was indeed alive and it crawled away, it is not long for this world.

Subject: More Spider Fungus?
Location: Milwaukee, WI
September 18, 2016 1:45 pm
Took this photo in the crypt area in the basement of the Cavalry Cemetery Chapel in Milwaukee, WI. A living spider is in the picture too as well as something else that is much more prominent. It reminded me of this:, but then I saw your posts and concluded that it was a living spider alongside a dead one overtaken by fungus (definitely dead because I touched it and, thank goodness, it didn’t move!). I wonder if the living one will soon suffer the same fate. Anyway, I thought you’d like another photo of this phenomena. Thanks for your great website!
Signature: Allison Jornlin

Spider with Fungus Infection

Spider with Fungus Infection

Dear Allison,
Thank you for submitting your image of a Cellar Spider infected with fungus.  There has been quite a robust challenge to our stand that these Fungus Riddled Spiders are generally dead.