There is a legend that daddy long-legs spiders have the most potent venom of any spider but that their fangs are either too small or too weak to puncture human skin; the same legend is also repeated of the harvestman and crane fly, also known as "daddy long-legs" in some regions. Indeed, pholcid spiders do have a short fang structure (called uncate due to its "hooked" shape). However, the irregular structure of the webs makes it difficult for the trapped insects to escape. [12] Additionally, recent research has shown that pholcid venom is relatively weak in its effects on insects. Pholcus and Smeringopus have cylindrical abdomens and eyes arranged in two lateral groups of three and two smaller median contiguous eyes. We've created informative articles that you can come back to again and again when you have questions or want to learn more! “They are generally very, very bad at getting around, so they tend to have lots of species, because the minute a river flows between two different populations or a mountain rises and cuts one population off from another population, they split into two new species.” For example, the closest relatives to the arachnids he’s studying in South Carolina live in West Africa, which were all one species before the continents split and the Atlantic Ocean sprang up between them. However, there is no concrete scientific evidence to support this myth. Pholcids prey on Tegenaria funnel weaver spiders, and are known to attack and eat redback spiders, huntsman spiders and house spiders. Whenever a prey enters the web, this spider quickly throws out lengths of silk over the prey from a distance, to restrict its movement. This spider sometimes raids the webs of other spiders, in search of food and can consume the trapped preys, eggs and even the host itself. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. They probably got bitten by something,” Clouse says. It is true that daddy long-legs spiders have venom glands and fangs, but there are no known records of fatality caused by the bites of these spiders. And if a female has the gene to produce lots of sneaky males, she has an advantage when there aren’t a lot of sneaky males. In Laos, a species with a legspan of 13 inches was discovered in 2012, while those in the family Gonyleptidae, which live in South America, have spines and vibrant colors. They are passive against humans. [10] To the extent that such entomological information was known to the general public, it was perhaps thought that if the daddy long-legs spider could kill a spider capable of delivering fatal bites to humans, then it must be more venomous, and the uncate fangs were regarded as prohibiting it from killing people. Most daddy longlegs species "mate with the male depositing sperm inside the female," Clouse says. “In the field, where these big ones are, the frustration of my colleagues is that they always seem to come upon them already eating something!” Clouse says. Birds, frogs, and lizards frequently make meals of daddy longlegs. Daddy long-legs spiders are known as vibrating spiders. Would you like to write for us? A marbled cellar spider (Holocnemus pluchei) carrying prey. You've probably heard the urban legend: Daddy long-leg spiders possess extremely toxic venom—so toxic that it would kill a human if only their fangs were … The type that Clouse studies, called cyphos, are tiny and have short, thick legs. But in 2004, the Discovery channel showed a program, called MythBusters, where it was demonstrated that daddy long-legs spiders can actually bite humans. The mother then carries this agglutinated mass of eggs between its jaw, or the pair of fang-like appendages, called chelicerae. "It probably keeps fungus and stuff off. “Other species may groom themselves in other ways, but in general this behavior is very important to keep parasites off the body. The muscles around the fangs in brown recluse spiders, are much stronger than the muscles that surround the fangs in daddy long-legs spiders. "I do everything from going into the field and collecting them to analyzing the data and doing the papers and all the lab tests in between," he says. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience.