Daddy longlegs, (order Opiliones), also spelled daddy-longlegs or daddy long legs, also called harvestman, any of more than 6, species of arachnids (class. There are actually two types of species of arachnids that have been labeled with the moniker of daddy long legs. One of them is an actual spider, while the other. Pholcidae, commonly known as cellar spiders, are a spider family in the suborder Araneomorphae. The family contains about species divided into about 80 genera. Some species, especially Pholcus phalangioides, are commonly called daddy long-legs spider, granddaddy long-legs spider,  Order‎: ‎Araneae.


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In a few species, males are smaller than females.

The males of some species also possess anal glands or sternal glands, as well as secretory structures known daddy long legs adenostyles on certain walking legs.

Similar structures are not present on females.

Daddy longlegs | arachnid |

The functions of those structures and the substances released daddy long legs them are unclear, though they may be reproductive or territorial in nature. Male daddy longlegs have a long protrusible penis.


After a pair mates in daddy long legs autumn, the female uses her long ovipositor to lay her eggs in a cleft in the soil. The daddy long legs hatch with the warmth of spring. An urban legend has spouted up for both Harvestmen and Cellar Spiders that they are actually the most poisonous spiders in the world, but their fangs are too small to pierce the skin of a human.

Pholcidae - Wikipedia

This is not true. Harvestmen may get very large if you consider the daddy long legs of their legs, but the fact is that they do not have fangs like a regular spider.


They also have absolutely no poison glands. They have small structures near their mouths known as chelicerae that look like very tiny claws.

Australian Museum

They use these to grasp, hold and chew up their prey. But is pholcids' venom extremely poisonous?

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Surprisingly, because they almost never bite, scientists have never bothered to conduct research to determine their venom's toxicity to humans. Misconceptions[ edit ] There is daddy long legs legend that daddy long-legs spiders have the most potent venom of any spider, but that their fangs are either too small daddy long legs too weak to puncture human skin; the same legend is also repeated of the harvestman and crane flyalso known as "daddy long-legs" in some regions.

UCR Spiders Site: Daddy Long Legs Myth

Some have defensive secretions that might be poisonous to small animals if ingested. So, for these daddy-long-legs, the tale is clearly false.

Daddy-longlegs spiders Pholcidae - Here, the myth is incorrect at least in making claims that have no basis in known facts. There is no daddy long legs to any pholcid spider biting a human and causing any detrimental reaction.

Daddy Long Legs

If these spiders were indeed deadly poisonous but couldn't bite humans, then the only way we would know that they daddy long legs poisonous is by milking them and injecting the venom into humans.

Daddy long legs a variety of reasons including Amnesty International and a humanitarian code of ethics, this research has never been done.

Furthermore, there are no toxicological studies testing the lethality of pholcid venom on any mammalian system this is usually done with mice.