Daddy Longlegs Myths – Are They True of False?

daddy longlegs, bug, spider, mythsDaddy longlegs are a very common bug of the Rocky Mountains and the world.  Do you know how many of the things you hear about them are in fact true?

Lately, I feel like whenever I am getting something out of the garage I come across a Daddy longlegs.  These amazing animals can be found everywhere from forests to kids bedrooms.  Unsurprisingly there are a lot of different rumors surrounding these animals due to their unique appearance.  Here are some of the common myths and whether or not they are true.

Daddy Longlegs Are Poisonous

FALSE – My kids recently came home and told me that daddy longlegs are the most poisonous spider in the world.  Furthermore, they said they are not dangerous to people because the fangs are too small to bite people.  I am always learning new things from my kids, but I doubted whether or not this was true.

A little research confirmed my doubt, and revealed that they are not poisonous at all.  Additionally, they don’t even have fangs with which to bite and they can’t make venom.

daddy longlegs, bug, spider

Daddy Longlegs Are Deadly To People

FALSE – The answer to this one comes directly from the fact that they are not poisonous.  They are perfectly harmless and safe to people.  Don’t worry about having them wandering around the corners or closet of your kids bedroom.

These two myths may come from a misunderstanding.  In Australia there is a spider referred to as a Daddy longlegs.  It is in fact a cellar spider, a completely different spider that is poisonous.

Daddy Longlegs Is Actually a Bug

FALSE…AND TRUE.  There are three different kinds of animals that are called a daddy longlegs – a harvestman, a crane fly, and a house spider (Pholcus phalangioides).  The answer to this myth depends on which animal you are referring to.

daddy longlegs, bug, spider, myths

A harvestman.

FALSE – A harvestman – this is a kind of arachnid, which is the family that spiders belong to.  However, a harvestman is not a true spider since it does not meet all of the characteristics of spiders.  It has one not two body sections; and has two eyes, not eight.

daddy longlegs, bug, cranefly

A Crane fly. Photo via Flickr.

TRUE – A crane fly, also called a Daddy longlegs, is a bug.

daddy longlegs, house spider

A house spider. Photo via Flickr.

FALSE – A house spider (Pholcus phalangioides) is as its name says, a spider.