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Is the daddy longlegs really the world's most venomous spider ?


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I remember my grandson told me this when he was in middle school and I was doubtful but did not pursue it.

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I had never heard that. I played with Daddy Long-legs all the time when I was little. They are totally innocuous little creatures. There are actually very few spiders that have much ability to seriously harm people or larger animals. Many of the spiders that actually have venom have fangs so small that they are little threat to a human. Even those that could generally don't unless they feel threatened. Their venom is for protection when they feel threatened or to subdue prey. If you don't bother them they are unlikely to bother you.

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I am kinda confused because I grew up knowing this spider was harmless so we never really worried about it while we feared black widows & banana spiders. Am I the only one or have times changed ?

Edited by thedutchiedutch
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33 minutes ago, thedutchiedutch said:

I am kinda confused because I grew up knowing this spider was harmless so we never really worried about it while we feared black widows & banana spiders. Am I the only one or have times changed ?

It is a hoax that showed up about 10 years ago (at least that is when someone told me about it).  It isn't true and there is no reason to fear a daddy long legs spider.   That was all mentioned in the article.

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1 hour ago, Desertrat56 said:

It is a hoax that showed up about 10 years ago (at least that is when someone told me about it).  It isn't true and there is no reason to fear a daddy long legs spider.   That was all mentioned in the article.

I see. Thanks Desert.

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I heard this tripe about Daddy Longlegs being the most poisonous spider as a kid in the 70's.

Utter hogwash was my reaction back then, and it still is.

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1 hour ago, quiXilver said:

I heard this tripe about Daddy Longlegs being the most poisonous spider as a kid in the 70's.

Utter hogwash was my reaction back then, and it still is.

Yeah, I heard it first about ten years later. I just was never bothered to investigate — my kind are notoriously afeared of creepy-crawlies.

—Jaylemurph 

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I got over my phobia of spiders.

Kinda had to... it was my job to crawl into the storage area under the porch each spring and load out the boating gear we stored in there.

The porch covered three sides of our house and was about 4feet high.  It was wall to wall and ground to top covered in river spiders and their webs.  They are not dangerous, but rather large (for a kid) and brown and crawled over every inch of me while I bulldozed my way through to get the gear out as quick as possible.

By the later years I'd developed a zen passage through it and it didn't bother me a bit.  But in the early years... I'd have to psyche myself up for a couple days before going in.

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I disagree. I heard this as a kid and decided to test the idea by putting a yellow jacket, black widow, and daddy longlegs in an aquarium along with whatever other contenders i could catch. The next day the daddy long legs was the only survivor. I was pretty surprised to see the black widow wrapped up.

Edited by Nnicolette
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6 hours ago, thedutchiedutch said:

I am kinda confused because I grew up knowing this spider was harmless so we never really worried about it while we feared black widows & banana spiders. Am I the only one or have times changed ?

Well they say that thier fangs are too tiny to pierce through human skin rendering them harmless to us, albeit very deadly to something small enough to sink thier poison into. I love having daddy longlegs around because they are harmless but kill off the black widows and dangerous spiders.

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#4

True 100%. Even the back widow, Which bit me 4 times as it was hanging out in my Motorcycle helmet and after a short ride I removed the helmet and hung it up. 45 min later I began to look like I went a round with  Mike Tyson. Never anything beyond a few swollen areas of my head, I was dubbed "spider biker" by friends for weeks.. The spider did not make it. She was crushed up pretty bad.. .:no:

..I would have bitten me to..

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10 hours ago, Nnicolette said:

I disagree. I heard this as a kid and decided to test the idea by putting a yellow jacket, black widow, and daddy longlegs in an aquarium along with whatever other contenders i could catch. The next day the daddy long legs was the only survivor. I was pretty surprised to see the black widow wrapped up.

It might have been because the daddy long legs was a faster weaver than the black widow.    That is a really interesting experiment.

When I moved in to a newly built house in the desert I had all kinds of varmits coming in under the cracks.  A snake went into my pantry and then in the wall.   It was a garden snake so I didn't worry about it.   One day I found a big centipede in the bathroom when I was getting ready for work.  I just took an empty tupperware container and scooped it up, put the lid on it and left it.    That night I came home and found a scorpion in the bathroom so I grabbed the tupperware container and scooped it into it as well.  I forgot about it for a few days and thought since they didn't have any oxygen they would both be dead, but when I found the container, the scorpion was in peices and the centipede was still alive.

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Wait. That's not what we consider a daddy long legs, and the legend has it that it is the most venomous spider, but yet it can not bite you. So I'm confused with this whole thing.
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3 minutes ago, llegendary said:

Wait. That's not what we consider a daddy long legs, and the legend has it that it is the most venomous spider, but yet it can not bite you. So I'm confused with this whole thing.

This is what I call a daddy long legs.  I looked up photos of daddy long legs spider on the web and this is the only one I have ever seen in my neck of the woods. No fangs, and they are tiny, body about 1cm in diameter, make a lot of webs. 

iu-3.jpeg

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The only 'daddy long legs' with venom are spiders of the Pholcus genus, the cellar spiders. They're not that venomous, though, and pose no danger to humans, but it's false that they can't bite you at all. I truly wish that myth would die. If bitten, however, you'll only experience maybe some redness or itching around the site of the bite. The animal that Desert Rat posted is a harvestman, which aren't actually spiders and possess no venom and don't build webs

Thus far, the only spiders in the US of any medical significance are widows (Latrodectus) and recluses (Loxosceles). A bite may not be fun, but no one has died for decades. With the recluses, about 10% of bites may result in a degree of necrotizing arachnidism, or flesh death around the bite. There's another genus of Sac spiders (Cheiracanthium) that may produce a worse than usual bite, but toxicology on them is a bit of a gray area 

Edited by HandsomeGorilla
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13 minutes ago, HandsomeGorilla said:

The only 'daddy long legs' with venom are spiders of the Pholcus genus, the cellar spiders. They're not that venomous, though, and pose no danger to humans, but it's false that they can't bite you at all. I truly wish that myth would die. If bitten, however, you'll only experience maybe some redness or itching around the site of the bite. The animal that Desert Rat posted is a harvestman, which aren't actually spiders and possess no venom and don't build webs

Thus far, the only spiders in the US of any medical significance are widows (Latrodectus) and recluses (Loxosceles). A bite may not be fun, but no one has died for decades. With the recluses, about 10% of bites may result in a degree of necrotizing arachnidism, or flesh death around the bite. There's another genus of Sac spiders (Cheiracanthium) that may produce a worse than usual bite, but toxicology on them is a bit of a gray area 

That picture I posted is the closest I could find of the daddy long legs we have.   So, I chose something that wasn't a spider, but the ones we have are spiders, with tiny brown, round bodies and long legs.

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Daddy Long Legs still creep me TF out.
We had a lot of the cellar spider variety in the house I grew up in, and they made their way into my early childhood nightmares. I still have an arachnophobic response when I see one that doesn't always apply to other types of spiders.
Another one I hate (and flinch when I see) are the house centipedes.
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On 1/20/2022 at 10:46 AM, Seti42 said:

Daddy Long Legs still creep me TF out.
We had a lot of the cellar spider variety in the house I grew up in, and they made their way into my early childhood nightmares. I still have an arachnophobic response when I see one that doesn't always apply to other types of spiders.
Another one I hate (and flinch when I see) are the house centipedes.

I first saw house centipedes visiting my great aunt in Missouri (also my first tarantulas and scorpions in the wild) and even being an invertebrate friendly person, they still creeped me right out. House centipedes aren't prone to bite at all and aren't very venomous, but the speed and all those legs moving still made this arachnid lover nervous 

However, I should warn that those living more westward in the US treat centipedes with extreme caution. Some, like the giant desert centipede, an animal you don't hear much about, can have an incredibly painful bite that may warrant a visit to the ER. Some species of centipede are considered to have the worst bite of any invertebrate 

Our largest is the Eastern red centipede which only grow to 3-4", but they pack a wallop and I give them their space 

Edited by HandsomeGorilla
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yes it is... this has been known for years- well facts:

apparently it's a fact but who really knows? i just go by what i've read ;)

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On 1/19/2022 at 8:21 AM, Desertrat56 said:

This is what I call a daddy long legs.  I looked up photos of daddy long legs spider on the web and this is the only one I have ever seen in my neck of the woods. No fangs, and they are tiny, body about 1cm in diameter, make a lot of webs. 

iu-3.jpeg

I have long since noticed that there are two distinctive varieties here. I call one the friendly one because of its round bumbling nature and the other the aggressive kind. The aggressive kind have longer thinner and pointier bodies and appear aggressive because of thier fast movement and attacks. I havent seen reference to subspecies from anyone else but they are very clearly different.

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