When I think of spiders I typically think of either the orb weaver spiders with their beautiful webs or tarantulas and trapdoor spiders that line burrows with layers of silk. Comparatively the cellar spider's web is a downright mess, lines going every which way, no order, random chaotic (hmmm...a bit like my desk!).
The time of year has come in New England for the cellar spiders of the family Pholcidae to show up in the house. A family with some 1000 species and a truly worldwide distribution these spiders are often referred to as "daddy long legs" which Christopher explains is an absolutely useless name since it is applied to many diverse groups of animals including our friends the harvestmen, which Christopher explains is . The one above is the Longbodied Cellar Spider (Pholcus phalangioides). This one was drunkenly admiring the art, but when the paparazzi attacked it decided to take a break from visual arts and engage in some culinary arts hiding behind the recipe books in the kitchen.
I say "drunkenly" since when these spiders walk about on the floor they often bob and weave as if they are one of the late night drunks headed past my house on a Saturday night. Their walk is not the only interesting motion of theirs. If disturbed in their webs they will begin vibrating wildly, seeming to dance. It does make them at times hard to track so I can see where this would work as a defensive maneuver.
Anyone know the meaning of "phalangioides"?
Classification for Ctenocephalides felis
- Pholcus phalangioides
Life Photo Meme