See 6 Spiders That Look Like Daddy Long Legs

Written by Emilio Brown
Updated: October 25, 2023
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Spiders are one of the few animals that are sometimes called “daddy long legs”, but not every spider holds this title. Daddy’s long legs typically refer to invertebrates with long thin legs and tiny bodies. Crane flies, and harvestmen are also called daddy long legs by some people. In this article, you will discover 6 spiders that look like daddy long legs and have an appearance that grants them this title. 

The term daddy long leg can be quite confusing. You do not know if it is referencing crane flies, harvestmen, or spiders, since some may use the term interchangeably for these animals. Harvestmen are what this term is mostly used for, and while they look like spiders, they are actually opilionids. Opilionids are not venomous,  and do not spin silk, but are often confused for spiders. Let’s take a look at 6 spiders that look like daddy’s long legs, and the interesting things about them.

If you see a daddy long legs, it just may be one of these look-alikes.

1. Marbled Cellar Spider (Holocnemus pluchei)

The marbled cellar spider is one of the many types of spiders that look like, and are called daddy long legs. This spider has a large global range, as they are found in North Africa, Europe, the Mediterranean, and the United States. In the U.S. this spider’s range covers the North Pacific region, and they are common in California

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Marbled cellar spiders get their name from the marble pattern that appears on their abdomen. They have gray coloring, with thin legs, and black markings on their joint. They typically have a body size that ranges from 0.19 to. 0.27 inches. 

This spider is a web builder, that builds a messy tangle of webs to live in. They sometimes live with other family members, creating a large communal web. Their messy webs are used to catch insects like fruit flies, houseflies, and craneflies. 

Marbled cellar spider, Holocnemus pluchei

Marbled cellar spiders get their name from the marble pattern that appears on their abdomen.

©Macronatura.es/Shutterstock.com

2. Long-Bodied Cellar Spider (Pholcus phalangioides)

The long-bodied cellar spider is one of the most common spiders in the United States. They are active year-round, found in the corners of homes, sides of houses, garages, basements, under stones, caves, and other similar places. Messy webs are built by this spider, and if threatened by a predator they will shake rapidly to attempt to conceal themselves. Shaking also helps further entangle prey that falls into their webs. 

The long-bodied cellar spider is named after its elongated pill-shaped body. They are yellowish brown, with a nearly translucent appearance, and dark markings on their body. This spider’s body ranges from around 0.2 to 0.31 inches as adults. Younger members of this species resemble their adults but are smaller.  

Long-bodied cellar spiders are often found in communal webs. Males will vibrate a female’s webs to get their attention and must perform a courtship ritual of tapping and vibrations to let the females know he is not prey. Mother long-bodied cellar spiders lay up to 3 egg sacs in their lifetime, which house 13 to 60 eggs. They will guard their young until their spiderlings disperse. 

Long-bodied cellar spider (Pholcus phalangioides)

The long-bodied cellar spider is named after its elongated pill-shaped body which has a nearly translucent appearance, and dark markings.

©Marek Velechovsky/Shutterstock.com

3. Short-Bodied Cellar Spider (Pholcus globosus)

Short-bodied cellar spiders are found in most of the world, and like other cellar spiders, they get their name since they are frequently being found in dark areas like cellars. They prefer warm environments and are found in caves, basements, houses, and even outdoors near homes, and in woodlands. 

Short-bodied cellar spiders like other spiders called daddy long legs have thin, and long legs. They have small bulbous bodies, at a size of around 0.2 inches. Their long legs make them look much larger, and there are dark bands on their joints. A black line runs down this spider carapace, and their eyes are grouped together on the hump on their face.

Short-bodied cellar spider, Pholcus globosus

Short-bodied cellar spiders have small bulbous bodies with dark bands on their joints.

©Vinicius R. Souza/Shutterstock.com

4. Pale Daddy Longleg Spider (Smeringopus pallidus)

Pale daddy longlegs are one of the many types of cellar spiders found across the world. Like other similar species, these spiders build messy webs, in dusty, and secluded corners of buildings. They are also found in areas like gardens and drains. This spider sits upside down in its messy web and vibrates when in danger to confuse predators. 

This spider has a body that reaches up to 0.27 inches. They have an elongated cylindrical body and long thin legs. When measured with their legs daddy long leg spiders are able to reach up to 1.97 inches in size. Purplish spots cover this spider’s abdomen, and they are covered in many tiny hairs that let them feel the vibrations in their web.

Pale daddy longleg, Smeringopus pallidus

The pale daddy longleg spider has purplish spots covering its abdomen, and many tiny hairs that let them feel the vibrations in their web..

©Vinicius R. Souza/Shutterstock.com

5. Tailed Cellar Spider (Crossopriza lyoni)

Like other spiders that have the name daddy long leg the tailed cellar spider has a small body and long, thin legs. This spider is sometimes called the box spider, and its abdomen is pointed at its top and rear. Tailed cellar spiders range from 0.098 to 0.28 inches in body size. They have an amber color and are covered in dark markings. 

Tailed cellar spiders live in human structures, like cellars, basements, and in homes. They have a large range and are found in areas like Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. This spider builds large messy webs, and may sometimes abdomen their web, leaving a tangled silk mess. 

Tailed cellar spider, Crossopriza lyoni

The tailed cellar spider,

Crossopriza lyoni

is amber in color with dark markings and a pointed abdomen. 

©Elliotte Rusty Harold/Shutterstock.com

6. Giant Daddy Longleg Spider (Artema atlanta)

The giant daddy long leg spider is the largest cellar spider species in the world. This spider size may frighten some, as they have a body size ranging between 0.31 to 0.43 inches. Their leg span can reach up to 2 inches. Bands appear on the long legs of this spider, and they have a round bulbous abdomen.

Giant daddy long leg spiders live in tropical regions like Vietnam, Brazil, India, and Australia. They have even been found in the United States in places like Arizona, and Hawaii. This spider is the king of all cellar spiders and is the largest spider that holds the name daddy long leg.

Giant daddy longleg spider, Artema atlanta

The giant daddy longleg is the largest cellar spider species in the world with a leg span that can reach up to 2 inches.

©Eugene Troskie/Shutterstock.com

Are Daddy Long Leg Spiders Dangerous 

Spiders that look like daddy long leg harvestmen, or cellar spiders are one of the most common spiders in the world. Luckily these dainty spiders are harmless to humans. All spiders but those in the Ulobridae possess venom glands, but that does not mean their venom is considered medically significant. Most spiders are harmless, and their bites typically have the same effects as that of a bee sting unless allergic. Some spiders like the black widow and brown recluse are infamous for their powerful venom, but death from even these spiders is rare.

There is a common myth about cellar spiders, where some believe they are the most venomous spiders in the world, but their fangs cannot pierce human skin. While it is true cellar spiders are harmless since their fangs cannot pierce skin, their venom is not that powerful. This myth seems to have started since cellar spiders are often seen killing deadly spiders like the black widow.

Daddy’s long legs are excellent hunters and their long legs are extremely quick, and allow them to wrap up their prey from a safe distance. Cellar spiders are only dangerous to other spiders, and pests. To humans, they are extremely beneficial. Most would agree they would rather have a family of cellar spiders guarding their home, than a more dangerous spider

Summary of 6 Spiders That Look Like Daddy Long Legs

NumberSpider
1Marbled Cellar Spider (Holocnemus pluchei)
2Long-Bodied Cellar Spider (Pholcus phalangioides)
3Short-Bodied Cellar Spider (Pholcus globosus)
4Pale Daddy Longleg Spider (Smeringopus pallidus)
5Tailed Cellar Spider (Crossopriza lyoni)
6Giant Daddy Longleg Spider (Artema atlanta)

Spiders That Look Like Daddy Long Legs Visual Story

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Vinicius R. Souza/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Spiders, snakes, and lizards are my favorite types of animals, and I enjoy keeping some species as pets. I love learning about the various wonders nature has to offer and have been a writer for 5 years. In my spare time, you can find me getting out into nature.

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