The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Daddy long-legs

Fact Box
Species:
Physocyclus globosus
(identification based on the contents of a paper by Beatty, Berry and Huber)
Family:
Pholcidae
Body length:
female: 5-6 mm
male: 4-5 mm
Habitat:
This is a species that has been introduced into Australia and thus is often found in a loose web in man-made constructions but also sometimes in caves and rock crevices
Toxicity:
May be too small to cause human illness and the chelicerae are fused at their bases, so the fangs cannot spread widely
Physocyclus globosus
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Female from side
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Female from below
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Female from above
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Female with male
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Male from above
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Below, above male
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Front, side male

This spider is distinguished from many other pholcid species by the shape of its abdomen, which is almost globular but with a broad overhanging bulge at the rear and with its spinnerets located mid-ventrally and pointing slightly forwards. This abdominal shape is also found on most Australian Wugigarra and Trichocyclus species and on Artema atlanta, though for these genera the spinnerets mostly point slightly backwards.

This spider can also be distinguished from the closely related Artema and Trichocyclus genera by differences in genital structures and by the shape of the palpal femur on adult males, which for Physocyclus globosus is cylindrical and not greatly inflated (as on Artema atlanta) or tapering towards the spider's body, the shape seen on most of the otherwise very similar pholcids.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Artema atlanta and Crossopriza lyoni.


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 25 October 2012.