Daddy Long Legs Spider (Pholcidae) – Mating

Daddy Long Legs Spider

Long story short, I have two daddy long leg spiders in my room. Why? We have house plants and occasionally small fruit flies would make their way into the bedroom and since I don’t condone senseless killing, I let the spiders have them for lunch. Such is the way of life. The best part is, and remember this next time you remove or kill a spider, it works! There is a definite decrease in the amount of unsavoury flying creatures. They stay in their corners and rarely move which suits me fine since I’m not big fans of them, I just tolerate them for the perks.

Originally there was just one, whom we fondly named Miss Annabelle. She was a bit of a sinister creature, partially because of how she sat with all legs claw-like and also because one time we were talking about how we could never truly know how intelligent she was and that night, she vanished for three days. Probably plotting my demise.
Daddy Long Legs Spider
Now she is back and I have a second spider called Jaundice (the abdomen had a sickly yellow shine to it. Don’t ask…). I had thought them both girls but then one night, I came home to see Jaundice navigating through Annabelle’s web. Disturbingly, Jaundice (who I gathered was actually a he), started some bizarre action that looked a bit like a dance. He danced closer with plucking movements and when he was close enough, he started flicking her with what I thought looked like a mouth part. It could have been anything though.
Daddy Long Legs Spider
After a few moments of body flicking, he snuggled up to Annabelle and at first I thought she was eating him. But several hours later, they were a foot away from each other. I reckon they were making babies.

I went and did some research and I now know that the daddy long legs spider belongs to the Pholcidae family which has 969 species within it. Three of these species can be found in uk. Jaundice was definitely a mature male as the mouth parts I saw were really called palps which were swollen and are used as sex organs. It made sense that Jaundice found Annabelle as it is the males who search for mates. He was lucky there was one in the same room.

There are no special courtship rituals and the male spiders tend to leave alive. If their attempt was successful, I should expect eggs soon which would hatch 3 weeks after being laid. Mummy spider carries these around with her. If I find she has eggs, I will have to relocate her to the dining room. Whilst Annabelle was a fine roommate, I don’t think I can take a swarm of baby spiders left right and centre.

Visit this link for more about Pholcidae spiders

One Response

  1. Lyn Renzi February 19, 2017

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