Nature & Environment
Is the daddy longlegs really the world's most venomous spider ?
By T.K. Randall
January 18, 2022 · 21 comments
Just how dangerous is this thing ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Alvesgaspar
It's a claim that has been doing the rounds for years, but just how accurate is it ?
According to the urban legend, the daddy longlegs is the most venomous spider on Earth but it has fangs that are so small that it is unable to actually bite you.
In reality, however, there is a lot wrong with this idea.
First of all, we have to define exactly what type of animal we are talking about. The name 'daddy longlegs' can be used to refer to several different critters, not all of which being spiders.
In some places, such as in the UK, 'daddy longlegs' is a name typically given to a type of large cranefly that can often be found flitting around the house during the summer months.
Unsurprisingly, it's completely harmless to humans and of course, isn't actually a spider at all.
The name can also be assigned to the harvestman - a type of arachnid (so we are getting closer) - however it doesn't actually have any fangs or venom glands.
In fact the only creature referred to as a 'daddy longlegs' that is actually a venomous spider is the cellar spider - an arachnid with very long legs and fangs similar to those of a brown recluse.
But does it have the most venomous bite on Earth ?
The answer is simply, no, it doesn't. While it can bite, it's not particularly dangerous and there are spiders with far more potent venom than the cellar spider.
In other words, the idea that the daddy longlegs is the most venomous spider on Earth is nonsense.
Source: Live Science
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