Subject: Spider with eggs?
Geographic location of the bug: England
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
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.”