Cellar spider (Physocyclus mexicanus), SEM

Cellar spider (Physocyclus mexicanus), SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Cellar spider (Physocyclus mexicanus). The family Pholcidae is a family of spiders known as pholcids or cellar spiders. A few species, such as Pholcus phalangioides are known as daddy longlegs, daddy longlegger, granddaddy longlegs or vibrating spiders). They are fragile arachnids with long legs and 6 to 8 eyes. They occur on every continent of the world except Antarctica. They have a wide range of habitats including caves, under rocks, loose bark, underground animal burrows, buildings and cellars (both damp and dry). When a pholcid spider web is touched or when large prey gets entangled the pholcid spider vibrates in a gyrating motion in its web. The vibration that is setup may cause the prey to become more entangled or it may make the pholcid spider hard to see by other predators. Thus the pholcid spider is also called a vibrating spider. Magnification: x1.0 when shortest axis printed at 25

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