Are Daddy Long Legs Venomous?

The term “daddy long legs” can refer to different creatures, so it’s important to clarify which organism we are referring to.

If you are referring to the common name “daddy long legs” used for the arachnid group known as harvestmen (order Opiliones), they are not venomous and actually are not spider either. Harvestmen do not possess venom glands or fangs and are unable to produce venom or inject it into their prey or humans. While they may have defensive mechanisms, such as secreting foul-smelling substances or playing dead, they do not pose a threat to humans in terms of venom.

However, if you are referring to the “daddy long legs” colloquially known as cellar spiders or Pholcidae, they do possess venom. While cellar spiders have venom glands and fangs, their venom is generally considered to be harmless to humans. The fangs of cellar spiders are too small and weak to penetrate human skin effectively, and even if a bite were to occur, it typically only results in mild localized irritation, similar to that of a mosquito bite.

It’s worth noting that there is a widespread urban myth that suggests daddy long legs possess the most potent venom but are unable to deliver it due to the small size of their fangs. This myth is false. Daddy long legs, whether they are harvestmen or cellar spiders, do not possess highly toxic venom that poses a danger to humans.

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