Spider Sleuthing in The San Juans – Day 6, Mommy Long Legs!
Last night I spied this sweet little Pholcid spidee mom-to-be in the corner of our bedroom. Pholicid is short for Pholcidae, the Cellar spiders. These are the spiders we know colloquially as Daddy Long Legs or in her case, Mommy Long Legs. Not to be confused with the other sort of Daddy/Mommy Long Legs, the Harvestmen, which actually aren’t spiders at all!
This little “she” spider is most likely Pholcus phalangioides. My photos aren’t great. I was standing on a chair holding my phone out as long as my arm would reach to try and get a picture, but didn’t want to disturb her too much.
If you look closely, you’ll see she is carrying her eggs in her mouth. These eggs are carefully held in a delicate silk net until they hatch. Even after hatching, the teeny little spiderlings are carried around in their mother’s mouth until they are able to venture off on their own.
Pholcus phalangioides spiders are often found inside homes or structures, make untidy, haphazard webs, are great at catching pests in your home, including other spiders! Males live for about a year, dying usually after mating. Females can reach the very old age of 3. That’s quite a long time to have a spider in your home.
I’ll leave you with a few neat links to check out: What to expect when your Cellar Spider is expecting – http://ibycter.com/what-to-expect-when-your-cellar-spider-is-expecting/ , Two months in the life of a mummy long legs –http://spiderblogger.blogspot.com/2011/01/daddy-long-legs-hatching.html and last but not least (this one has incredible photos), Daddy-longlegs, vibrating or cellar spiders https://ednieuw.home.xs4all.nl/Spiders/Pholcidae/Pholcidae.htm
Thanks for reading! Be nice to spiders.