|Vibrating Spiders - Family Pholcidae|
Also commonly known as daddy longlegs spiders, cellar spiders.
Video & photographs of live vibrating spiders at northern Illinois
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I found this specimen living in close proximity to Steatoda cobweb spiders in my garage. These spiders probably prey upon each other when the pickings get slim in the wintertime, but as of September, there are still enough flying insects visiting for all to coexist peacefully. It is said these spiders, when threatened, vibrate their legs and bodies so rapidly as to become invisible; hence their other common name: vibrating spider. Actually, what they do is, spin themselves in a small circle so rapidly they become nearly invisible - it's really quite a sight!
There is a famous old wives' tale about this family of spiders: that their bite is the most dangerous, or their venom is the most lethal known to man. These spiders have not the equipment for delivery of any but the tiniest amounts of venom, and that dangerous only to the smallest of creatures, flies and other spiders, etc. People love to be afraid of spiders, especially ones that like to live where we live, but these guys are completely harmless, even beneficial. (I don't tolerate then in my actual living space, but the garage is ok although I do tire of sweeping up the insect bits and pieces they are constantly dropping on the floor after meals.)
1. Authors: H.V. Weems, Jr., and G.B. Edwards, Jr., Florida Dept. of Ag, Entomology Circular 193.
Class Arachnida / Order Araneae: Spiders are the largest group of arachnids. They are easily recognized by their eight legs, and there are few creatures great or small that elicit such irrational fear in mankind. The vast majority of spiders are completely harmless and offer beneficial services, chief of which is keeping the burgeoning insect population in check. I am continually amazed at the resourcefulness of these supremely successful predators.
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