Monday, December 6, 2010

Ceiling or daddy long-legs spider

Most spiders found in Ontario homes are harmless to humans, so relax.
Some books call this spider a daddy long-legs but I don't. The daddy long-legs with which I am familiar have different bodies. No, this is what we called a ceiling or a cellar spider when I was a boy.

The spider that I called a daddy long-legs is also called the harvestman and I understand it is not a true spider. I think the term daddy long-legs fits the harvestman more than the cellar spider and so I'm staying with my terminology.

There is a myth that a daddy long-legs (cellar spider) has the most potent venom of all spiders but because it is unable to pierce human skin, it is harmless.

This myth was tested on Myth Busters and it was busted — twice. It seems the spider was able to bite through Adam's skin but he reported nothing more than a very mild, short-lived burning sensation. Analysis of the venom proved it didn't approach the potency of the black widow spider.

Apparently one story isn't a myth. Cellar spiders do hunt and kill the dangerous-to-humans black widow.


  1. I knew about the spider being the most poisoness and all of that my whole life, and it was busted?

    Amazing! I think it is so interesting that the cellar spider hunts and kills the black widow... creepy.

    Elle :)

  2. I've been teaching my little granddaughter to not fear the world. This summer the neighbourhood kids introduced her to a garter snake before they released it in a nearby field. I showed her a spider sitting in the middle of an intricate web hidden in our shrubbery. She was delighted with both the snake and the spider and murmured in awe, "Ooooo..."