Holocnemus pluchei

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Current valid name

Holocnemus pluchei (Scopoli) (family Pholcidae)

Recognition and diagnostic features

Legs are long and flimsy, sternum brown with brown ventral longitudinal abdominal stripe, black and white rings around leg joints. Females have swollen, featureless palps, looking like penultimate males.

Related or similar species

Psilochorus papago, Psilochorus utahensis

Spider

Body lengths when mature: male: 5 to 7 mm, female: 6 to 8 mm

Immatures resemble miniature adults.

Egg sac

Because pholcid spiders carry their egg sacs around in their fangs, one should never find one of their egg sacs in grapes. Therefore, no further information is provided because it would be moot.

Distribution

In California: Central to southern California

Elsewhere: Mediterranean region, Arizona

Not native to North America

This species has been transported and become established outside of its range.

Biology

Of Mediterranean origin, anecdotal information leans toward importation and establishment in the San Francisco area in the mid 20th century with spread south throughout southern California and east to Arizona. Incredibly common in and around homes such that it is an urban pest. Makes flimsy web in the eaves of houses and inside homes along the ceiling. Also found in shrubs and bushes. Active day and night during warmer months, scarce in winter.

Status in table grapes

Level of Incidence: uncommon

Level of Concern in New Zealand: WPNZ (May 2010) nr, BORIC (Dec 2011) nr (not listed), MAF-BPRA (2002) nr (coding definition)

Level of Concern in Australia: WPAU (2006) nr (coding definition)

Level of Medical importance: none

Common name

Marbled cellar spider for species, cellar or daddylonglegs spiders for family

Taxonomic history

Stable over the last 100 years.