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03.07 – Urban Wildlife: The Cellar Spider

The Single Acorn
The Single Acorn
03.07 - Urban Wildlife: The Cellar Spider

Episode description:

It lurks in the darkest corners of your basement, lying in wait for an unsuspecting centipede or a wayward fruit fly to become entangled in its messy cobweb. The struggling pulses a telltale vibration and the nearly blind cellar spider pounces, quickly throwing a net of webbing and lashing down the most unfortunate guest. But the spider isn’t always one to wait - for dinner, perhaps, the long-legged spider sets out in search of an arachnid stalking its prey, taking down a black widow spider on its own turf. Their bio looks much like a Shakespearean tragedy: infanticide, aggressive mimicry, parental care, promiscuity, and. Okay, so maybe you won’t find that last one in Macbeth, but it’s a strange world lurking in the dungeons of our homes. So grab a flashlight and head downstairs. Welcome to the Single Acorn Podcast.

Produced by: Crow’s Path
Hosted by:
Professor Eweagey (aka Teage O’Connor), Glenn Etter, Dr. Christine Fleener
Supported by: Our patrons @
For more natural history:

Theme music by: Jake Weiss
Logo design by: Caitlin LaDulce
Ads by: Sara Siegel

  • Ugly Animal Preservation Society (link)
  • Evaluation of Antimicrobial Activity of Spider Silk Pholcus Phalangioides Against Two Bacterial Pathogens in Food Borne (source)
  • Name in italian: “Ragno ballerino” (dancing spider) (link)
  • You can save that spider! (article)
  • Magnetic susceptibility of spider webs as a proxy of airborne metal pollution (source)
  • Predator‐prey interactions between jumping spiders (Araneae, Salticidae) and Pholcus phalangioides (Araneae, Pholcidae) (source)
  • Species Pholcus phalangioides – Longbodied Cellar Spider feeding on other spiders (examples)
  • The biology of Pholcus phalangioides (Araneae, Pholcidae): predatory versatility, araneophagy and aggressive mimicry (source)
  • Kleptoparasitism in spiders “Spiders in a hostile world (Arachnoidea, Araneae) (source)
  • Kin Recognition in two Species of Cellar Spiders, (Pholcidae), and its Effects on Inter- and Intra-Specific Predation of Spiderlings (source)
  • Rare Vegetarian Spider Discovered (source)
  • “Study Results from University of Wisconsin Broaden Understanding of Ethology (Ontogenetic approach reveals how cognitive capability and motivation shape prey-searching behavior in Pholcus phalangioides cellar spiders).” Life Science Weekly, 28 Aug. 2018, p. 3378. Gale Academic OneFile, Accessed 15 Feb. 2021. (source)
  • Mating behaviour in the cellar spider, Pholcus phalangioides, indicates sperm mixing (source)
  • The male genital system of the cellar spider Pholcus phalangioides (Fuesslin, 1775) (Pholcidae, Araneae): development of spermatozoa and seminal secretion (source)
  • Effects of body size of both sexes and female mating history on male mating behaviour and paternity success in a spider (source)
  • Male pedipalp morphology and copulatory mechanism in Pholcus phalangioides (source)
  • The World of Spiders by WM Bristowe, 1958 (book)
  • Development of Pholcus phalangioides under long and short photoperiods (source)

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