Daddy Long-Legs

(Phoicus phalangioides)

Daddy Long-Legs, AustraliaThe Daddy Long-legs Spider  belongs to the Family Pholcidae and a group known as the tangle-web spiders. The Daddy Long-leg Spider is one of the most common spiders in Australia. The spider is also known as the Cellar Spider.


The spider's most distinguishing feature is its long spindly legs. The Daddy Long-leg, if attacked by a predator, can remove a leg to get away.


Tangle Web

These spiders build irregular silk webs in sheltered areas, usually in corners of ceilings or behind furniture or shelves . The spider hangs it's head down in the centre of the web and if disturbed it will rapidly vibrate in a circular motion. They bounce around so rapidly that no predator is likely to catch them. The spider will wait until its prey ventures within striking distance and then it will wrap the victim in silk and stun it's victim by administering a bite. 

Food and Predators

The Daddy Long-leg eats insects and other spiders, including the highly venomous Redback spider.

Friend or Foe ?

Ignore all the rumours that Daddy Long-legs are poisonous, their venom glands are minute and their fangs are far too short to penetrate human skin. I still wouldn't pat them though ! These spiders are one of the most timid, perferring to flee than fight.

Facts About Daddy Long-Legs

A common myth about the spider is that their venom is one of the mostly highly toxic of all spiders but because their fangs can't pentrate human skin and their venom glands are so minute they are considered harmless. There has been no scientific evidence to support the claim that their venom is highly toxic.

Here is one for the people who believe in superstitions. In the old days, if you couldn't find your cows, it was thought by grabbing a Daddy Long-legs by it's hind legs, the spider's front legs would point in the direction of the missing cows. I think I would prefer my cows to stay lost!