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Myths Debunked

Can the sting of a Daddy Long Leg really kill you?


As the myth goes, Daddy LongLegs (Pholcus phalangioides)have an immensely powerful venom that could instantly kill you if bitten. But no need to panic, the reason we have not all apparently succombed to this deadly arachnic is that there stig is not strong enough to pierce human skin. Sadly this is completely untrue. It has been shown in recent studies that pholcid venom is relatively harmless to humans and even other insects. the spider’s fangs could indeed penetrate human skin, leaving merely a burning feeling. The myth is supposedly due to the fact these spiders prey on more dangerous and venomous spiders, leading to the conclusion that they must be the most lethal race. Just goes to show, some insect scares are all talk!

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Discussion

7 thoughts on “Can the sting of a Daddy Long Leg really kill you?

  1. FYI that picture is a harvestman, not a daddy longlegs spider, two different species and a harvestman is not a spider nor does it have venom. Mythbusters solved the one about the actual spider, the spider must have two body segments though to be considered an actual spider.

    Posted by Michelle | August 25, 2012, 8:52 am
  2. They’re not even spiders. They belong to the order Opiliones.

    Posted by Lawrence Agpasa | September 6, 2012, 8:03 am
  3. Got bit! He went down my shirt while I was seated. He went down my pants when I stood up. Bit me (two bumps) on my back and three times on my hip at the hip joint. About forty five minutes ago and no I’ll effects. Burned less than a bee sting but I still knew I’d been bit/stung! I dropped my jeans and there he was. Just like the one in the picture above.
    Thanks for the post.
    Trappfarm

    Posted by Tim | September 15, 2012, 10:17 pm
  4. I did not now that

    Posted by Choir | October 11, 2012, 4:44 am
  5. do these live in british gardens and can they or ant they kill a human

    Posted by lolmaster | October 17, 2012, 2:56 pm
  6. Very well written. My sister had a question on the topic, and tis answered both our questions.

    Posted by Leonardo DiApricallion | October 23, 2012, 9:50 pm
  7. I play with these spiders all the time. Catch them in my hands and move them from the house or off the porch to the trees or garden. Never have been bitten. I call them bouncy spiders because of the way they bounce up and down when they are disturbed.

    Posted by Donna | October 24, 2012, 2:47 am

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About me

My name is Natasha and I'm currently studying towards a PhD at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School in Brighton, UK. I love finding out interesting facts about all aspects of life, whether it's how genetic engineering works or what the difference between crimped and straight hair is. There's a bit of science behind everything and the Science Informant will find the link!
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