Fun Daddy Long Legs Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Feb 21, 2024 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Sapna Sinha
Fun daddy long legs facts for kids to know.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.9 Min

Are daddy long legs spiders or non-spiders? Both harvestmen (Opiliones) and cellar spiders are known as daddy long legs. But both are not related, and neither are there links between the two groups of species. Related to the class of arachnids, both species belong to different orders and families. The spider, daddy long legs (Pholcus phalangioides), also known as skull spiders and cellar spiders, has eight uniquely long legs, six eyes, and a peanut-shaped body. They make great predators having fangs ejecting venomous secretions from their glands and slyly attacking their prey with their fangs. To search for and capture their prey, they create thin silky webs. Preferring isolation as their site of stay, they maintain no links with fellow daddy long legs. In times of mating, they become very sociable and search for mates, and lay 20-30 eggs. The independent offspring cut all ties with their parents once they become efficient in searching for food.  Interestingly, these spiders are venomous for their prey but are not toxic to humans.

Finding the daddy long legs interesting? Read below to learn more about them. You can also check out the click beetle and the Brazilian wandering spider.

Daddy Long Legs Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Daddy Long Legs?

Daddy long legs is the name of a spider species. There are two separate families of these spiders, each having numerous species: Phalangioides (cellar spiders) and Opiliones (harvestmen).

What class of animal does a Daddy Long Legs belong to?

All daddy long legs belong to the class of Arachnids.

How many Daddy Long Legs are there in the world?

It is hard to estimate the total number of daddy long legs present in the world as every continent is home to them. There are more than 1000 species of these spiders belonging to the two broad groups of Opiliones and cellar spiders.

Where does a Daddy Long Legs live?

Originally a species native to sub-tropical Asia, they are now found in Europe and America as well. These spiders prefer living in trees, leaves, dry deserts, and inside dark, damp, and dusty buildings.

What is a Daddy Long Legs' habitat?

These spiders require a warm and moist habitat. They usually thrive on a drier site by knitting their silk webs and hanging upside down from them. However, the harvestmen (Opiliones) do not make webs and are found to live on leaves and dark crevices. Both species prefer living in isolated and abandoned old buildings, basements, caves, forests, etc. Since they cannot survive extremely cold temperatures, they are usually found indoors in European or American countries.

Who do Daddy Long Legs live with?

The daddy long legs are a solitary species staying in isolated areas, away from human interactions. Each spider lives separately building its web and doesn't encroach on another daddy long leg's web.

How long does a Daddy Long Legs live?

The lifespan of daddy long legs ranges between three months to seven years, depending on how efficiently they escape from their predators and search for their food.

How do they reproduce?

These spiders can engage in sexual reproduction all around the year. Males fight with each other to copulate with a female. At first, the males attract by vibrating their bodies and getting closer to the females. After the courtship is done, using its pedipalps, the male deposits its sperm into the female genitalia. Once the eggs are fertilized, the female clumps the 20-30 eggs together binding them with its silk, and holds them in her jaw. After between two and three weeks the eggs hatch and remain attached to the silk web and shed their baby skin. The offspring reach adulthood once they independently start catching their food.

What is their conservation status?

At present, daddy long legs are Not Evaluated by the IUCN Red List. With their incredible species diversity, ubiquitously found everywhere they face no potent threat to their survival. Hence, no conservation efforts are undertaken for the maintenance of these long-legged species.

Daddy Long Legs Fun Facts

What do Daddy Long Legs look like?

A Daddy Long Legs spider on the wall.

Daddy long legs are small arachnids with a skull-like gray and brown body and thin legs. These cellar spiders have eight legs and six eyes. Its body has two structures attached: the skull-shaped or peanut-shaped cephalothorax containing the internal organs, and long legs with dark-colored bent knees.

How cute are they?

With a small skull-like body and long legs, it has a creepy appearance. However, some find these house spiders cute when they hang upside down on their webs. On a scale of 1 to 10, a daddy longlegs can be rated three for its cuteness.

How do they communicate?

Communication occurs while mating, where males vibrate themselves to attract females.

How big is a Daddy Long Legs?

Daddy long legs are small spiders with a short body that looks like a human skull with eight legs with each leg being very thin and long. Since these are very small creatures, their height ranges up to 0.19 in (0.5 cm) An average male is 0.23-0.39 in  (6-10 mm) long while females are slightly longer 0.27-0.31 in  (7-8 mm). Daddy long legs are eight times the size of a red ant and are three times smaller than a crab.

How fast can a Daddy Long Legs move?

Daddy long legs are lazy and dislike moving hastily. They do not wander over larger distances from their web. While the exact moving speed of this species is not known they are swift and venomous predators effective at catching prey. Also, they move rapidly when in search of a partner to mate with.

How much does a Daddy Long Legs weigh?

Having a small and short body with extremely thin and wobbly legs, the weight of the spider is negligible.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no separate names assigned for males or females.

What would you call a baby Daddy Long Legs?

A baby Daddy long legs spider does not have any specific name, so it can be referred to as a baby daddy long legs. They do not communicate otherwise and prefer being aloof.

What do they eat?

These spider species are carnivorous creatures. They feed on numerous insects, small invertebrates, and even their legs (when other food sources are scarce). Being great predators, they also prey on other venomous spiders like redback spiders, jumping spiders, and huntsman spiders. The venom of the daddy longlegs is so strong that it can easily kill the redback spiders which are known to kill human beings. For trapping their prey, the long-legged spiders either attack directly by trapping the prey on its web, or if the prey is at a slight distance, it throws its silk from its venom glands affecting the prey. Then it rapidly moves and places a strong bite with its fangs on the prey's body. The venom injected into the prey's body immediately kills it and helps the spider feed on it.

Are they poisonous?

While the daddy longlegs is a venomous predators for their prey, they are not poisonous to human beings. One might think them to be very poisonous as they prey on the human-killing redback spiders, but it is a myth. A daddy long legs bite cannot penetrate human skin, hence, daddy long legs venom is not at all toxic or poisonous to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

Groups of daddy longlegs spiders can be found almost at every home in the cellars, bathrooms, or basements. So, one doesn't have to make an effort to pet them separately. If you are not scared of spiders then they can make great pets for your home. To keep them as pets, just don't spray insecticides on them.

Did you know...

The male daddy longlegs dies after mating with a female, but a female can live up to three years after mating with several partners.

Also called vibrating spiders, daddy long legs fly, spin, and vibrate on their webs to become invisible in front of their prey.

Using daddy long legs' poisonous glands, its venomous bite keeps house insects in check and acts as a natural insect repellant.

Its tiny fangs are only 0.25 mm in size while each leg is thrice the size of its body.

To get rid of them naturally, vacuum your house regularly. Or make a DIY repellant mixing boric acid and water.

What is special about Daddy Long Legs?

The difference in their body structure is what makes them special. Their three pairs of eyes and four pairs of extremely long legs give them a unique appearance.

Why do Daddy Long Legs cluster?

The mother daddy longlegs makes a cluster of several eggs, binding it with the silk secreted by it. This is done to protect the eggs from falling prey and

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including hobo spider facts and yellow sac spider facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable daddy long legs coloring pages.

Daddy Long Legs Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Other spiders, insects, small invertebrates, and their own leg

What Type of Animal were they?

Carnivore

Average Litter Size?

20-30 eggs

How Much Did They Weigh?

N/A

What habitat Do they Live In?

damp forests, old and damp buildings, dark areas, humid subtropical regions

Where Do They Live?

every continent except antarctica

How Long Were They?

Males: 0.23-0.39 in (6-10 mm)Females: 0.27-0.31 in (7-8 mm)‍

How Tall Were They?

0.19 in (0.5 cm)

Class

Arachnids

Genus

Pholcus

Family

Pholcidae

Scientific Name

Pholcus phalangioides

What Do They Look Like?

Pale grey, off-white, dark brown

Skin Type

Dry scales

What Are Their Main Threats?

jumping spiders, lizards, humans

What is their Conservation Status?

Not Evaluated
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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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