Female, typical location in the corner of a ceiling ©Johan Van Hoecke

Cellar spider

Know more?

If you disturb a Cellar spider, it starts shaking with such speed that the spider image becomes blurry. This makes it very hard for a predator to grab hold of the spider. If a predator does succeed in taking hold of a leg, it will dislodge and keeps on moving on its own! This allows the spider to flee! The Cellar spider is a very efficient hunter and succeeds to capture large house spiders.

Cellar spiders (Pisauridae)


Cellar spider (Pholcus phalangoides)

Web: an open, messy, 3D web.  

Habitat: almost always in or close to buildings. Often in the corner of the ceiling in cellars or bathrooms, but also in the garage, the garden shed,…

How to recognize:

  • spider with elongated abdomen and very long, thin legs
  • abdomen with beige or grey colour

Looks similar to:

  • because of the long legs, cellar spiders can be confused with harvestmen (daddy longlegs). However, harvestmen are not spiders, the big difference lies in the body. In harvestmen the body consists of one piece, in spiders you can clearly recognize two sections: cephalothorax and abdomen.


♀: 8-10 mm

♂: 7-10 mm


♀: throughout the year

♂: throughout the year