The Wildlife Information Centre

Biological data for south-east and part of central Scotland

Wych Elm (Ulmus glabra)
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Daddy Long-legs Spider, Pholcus phalangioides

Key Features

A thin body with the two body sections (cephalothorax and abdomen) very obvious, and long, delicate-looking legs.

Where to Look

Indoors in houses, outhouses and cellars where it is protected from low temperatures. It favours undisturbed corners where it can build its untidy web.

Don't Confuse with!

  • Craneflies, which are insects with six long legs, three body sections and a pair of wings.
  • Harvestmen, which can also have very long legs, but have a more rounded body made up of just one section.

More information

This spider is widespread in the southern half of Britain, but there are relatively few records from Scotland. However, observations suggest the spider is spreading northwards and it is likely that it is more widespread in Scotland than we think.

Daddy Long-legs Spiders can be found in houses all year round. They are not fussy eaters and will take any prey that becomes entangled in their web – including other spiders. They will even eat much larger house spiders. They use their long legs to escape being bitten whilst throwing silk over their victim to immobilise it.

More information about this spider can be found here.

Photograph (c) Colin Legg.

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