Long-legged spiders… Are they the most venomous in the world?
Classifying long-legged spiders as mythical, venomous creatures is not true, and the myths built around these spiders seem to have been the product of common knowledge of an era without scrutiny and refusal.
You may have heard that Daddy longlegs are among the most venomous spiders in the world. Are they really dangerous spiders?
To find out the answer, we first have to correct some notions about these spiders.
One term for different types
First, what creatures are called longlisted?
according to to report Published by “Live Sciences”, this term is used colloquially to refer to at least 3 different creatures, but only one of them is a real spider, known as the cellar spider, and this single spider belongs to It belongs to the family of “Pholcidae”, and its body consists of two parts, has 8 eyes and fangs, and contains poisonous ducts and glands, as in other spiders.
There is another group of these spider species known as reapers and belong to the order “Opiliones”. In contrast to what is found in other spiders, the reapers’ bodies consist of one part and have only two eyes, and they do not have fangs or venom glands.
Of these organisms, Rick Fetter, a retired entomologist at the University of California, Riverside, says that harvesters have small mouth parts that look like tiny pliers, which these organisms often use to kill prey and dead animals.
Insects with the same name
There is a final group that falls under the term “Peripods”, but this group is a group of insects and not arachnids. These insects belong to the family of Tipulidae and have long bodies and wings that make them look like large mosquitoes.
In contrast to other mosquitoes, this insect cannot bite because it has no mouth parts at all. When this insect reaches adulthood, it lives only a few days, which is enough time to mate and lay eggs. Hence ‘lists’ are not just one object, but different objects. But, what do we know about its toxins?
Thrushes have no poison at all, and reapers have no venom, but some poisons. To tell the difference, venom is a specific type of poison that has evolved in organisms and is injected into prey after it has been bitten. But poison is what infiltrates the body of the prey by inhalation, ingestion, or by local contact with the poisonous substance.
Lethal and deterrent toxins
When harvesters feel threatened, they coat themselves in a dark, smelly chemical mixture to ward off parasites and predators. Although this substance kills spiders and insects, it is not the highest toxic substance in the world.
Finally, what about the toxicity of basement spiders? Those are the only true “long-legged” spiders that fall under the same name.
Cellar spiders can sting humans; Their fangs are similar to those of brown recluse spiders, which cause a fatal bite to humans, but “there is no known toxic effect of these spiders on humans,” according to Vetter.
This has been confirmed research study Published in 2019 in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, researchers found that the venom of black widow spiders was more lethal than the venom of the basement spider, after mice were injected with black widow spider venom or Cellar spider poisons.
Therefore, classifying long-legged spiders as mythical venomous creatures is not correct, and it seems that the myths built around these spiders were the product of common knowledge in an era without scrutiny and refute.