So I took another look under the bench on the front porch, to see what if anything the Pholcus phalangioides was up to but the spider was not to be seen. Instead I noticed something else, a bunch of loosely connected brown blobs and stripes teetering and jerking along on four very long legs. Turns out to be genus Stenolemus, maybe S. lanipes, a gossamer assassin of the thread-legged subfamily Emesinae.
It's hard to appreciate from these poor photos how the body and legs are comprised of dark sections connected by nearly transparent parts, giving the creature a delicate appearance not unlike a collection of detritus tied together with spider silk. These guys hang out in and around spider webs, feeding on either the spiders themselves and/or tidbits of prey found in the webs (the evidence is inconclusive and I'm not sure which species this individual is).
|Assassin image blurred by quick movements!|