Summary for Pholcus phalangioides (Araneae)

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National Distribution

 
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Pholcus phalangioides (Pholcidae) subadult Copyright: Greg Hitchcock
Identification difficulty rating: 2
Name: Pholcus phalangioides
Authority: (Fuesslin, 1775)
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Pholcidae

Records: 2307
First Record: 1864
Latest Record: 2014

1992-on hectads: 598
Pre-1992 hectads: 169
Total hectads: 677

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
0m to 415m

Species text

Distribution
The species is widespread in England and Wales, and although it is absent from much of northern Britain, there are records as far north as Shetland. It is widespread in western and central Europe as far north as Sweden, where it is included in their Red List (Gardenfors 2000).

Habitat and ecology
In this country Pholcus phalangioides is found almost exclusively in buildings where it can benefit from the shelter and warmth provided (please note that the broad habitat chart below includes habitats where the spider has been recorded from buildings or huts in these habitats, but the records have not been separated out from these habitats or subhabitats). Bristowe (1958) showed that Pholcus inhabits houses where the average temperature throughout the year exceeds 50ºF (10ºC), and north of this the spider is normally confined to cellars where temperature varies little with the seasons and is usually about 50 to 52ºF. In Suffolk a female survived the winter in one of a row of free standing garages, when the night time temperature went well below freezing sometimes for a week or so (J. Daws, pers. comm.). It particularly favours undisturbed parts of houses such as cellars and bathrooms where it can establish large colonies beneath baths and shower-trays. As it makes an untidy web in the corners of ceilings it is not usually permitted a permanent abode in such conspicuous situations but it has no difficulty in surviving where there is a limited tolerance by house owners. It is one of the few species of spider that has acquired a vernacular name, being known as the daddy long legs spider because of its long legs. Adults can be found mature in most months of the year, with possible peaks in males during late spring and autumn.

Status
Synanthropic

Original author of profile: R. Ruffell

Text based on Harvey, P.R., Nellist, D.R. & Telfer, M.G. (eds) 2002. Provisional atlas of British spiders (Arachnida, Araneae), Volumes 1 & 2. Huntingdon: Biological Records Centre.  References

Adult Season

Adult Season Data (based on 498 records with adult season information)


Habitats

background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 1115 records with habitat information)

Broad subhabitat Data (based on 11 records with subhabitat information)

Structural Habitat Data (based on 11 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 347 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Pholcus phalangioides

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Pholcus phalangioides

Images

Pholcus phalangioides with babies
Pholcus phalangioides with babies
Pholcus with spider prey
Pholcus with spider prey
meal time
meal time
Pholcus phalangioides London 2
Pholcus phalangioides London 2
Pholcus phalangioides London
Pholcus phalangioides London
Pholcus phalangioides feeding
Pholcus phalangioides feeding
Pholcus phalangioides with egg sac
Pholcus phalangioides with egg sac
Pholcus spider with egg sac
Pholcus spider with egg sac
Hiding in the Fencing
Hiding in the Fencing
Pholcus phalangioides mating
Pholcus phalangioides mating
Female Pholcus phalangioides with eggs
Female Pholcus phalangioides with eggs
Pholcus phalangioides eggs with developing Spiderlings
Pholcus phalangioides eggs with developing Spiderlings
Pholcus phalangioides (Pholcidae) subadult
Pholcus phalangioides (Pholcidae) subadult
Pholcus phalangioides 2
Pholcus phalangioides 2
Pholcus phalangioides
Pholcus phalangioides
Pholcus phalangioides with eggs
Pholcus phalangioides with eggs
Pholcus phalangioides female
Pholcus phalangioides female
Pholcus phalangioides female underside
Pholcus phalangioides female underside
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