Identify this spider or insect

I appear to have a house-guest in the form of a rather large spider. The body was about 3 cm long and perhaps 1 cm in width. The abdomen was not overly large with respect to the rest of the critter, around a third of the length. The colour was a glossy black, indicating a hard carapace. The legs were more like a cranefly than a spider, very thin. I’m in Aberdeen, north Scotland, but there’s both a port and an airport here so the spider could have come from anywhere.

I’ve checked a few UK sites, including ants and insects and drawn a blank. Can you identify it?

How many legs?

8 legs, but I may have miscounted due to it being in motion.

Daddy-long-legs spider Pholcus phalangiodes

It was much blacker than that and the three body parts were much more evenly sized.

Spiders have only two body parts. True “daddy-long-legs” or harvestmen only have one. If it had eight legs, it would have been one of these.

This thing was a glossy jet black. There didn’t seem to be any separation between the parts of the body. The head, abdomen, and thorax seemed to be approximately equal-sized. It didn’t look like Formica Fusca, nor Formica picea, nor Lasius niger. I didn’t notice antennae.

Sure it wasn’t a beetle?

It may well have been, but I’ve not spotted a beetle that matches.

Female stag beetle (right)?

How long were the legs?

No wings visible, I assume?

No, no wings visible. Not a female stag beetle. I can’t really describe it but the back end was not beetle-like.

The legs were long and spindly, like an upside-down V.

If you’re not sure how many legs it had, how many body parts it had, or whether it was a spider or a beetle, I doubt we can ID it from a vague description. We need either a photo (preferably) or a detailed description.

Or a sketch.

How long is “long”? Are we talking leg span of 4cm here, or 8cm? I can’t even picture a bug with a 3cm long body and long, spindly legs. Unless the body is very narrow?

People have identified films from less.

It appeared to be a spider with 8 legs. It appeared to have three body parts. It was a glossy black. Not hairy. The legs were very thin. The span of the legs as it walked was not great - it kept the inverted V quite tight.

Carpenter ant?

I’ve identified bugs from pretty slim information, but it has to be accurate.

There is no such animal. Both these things can’t be true at the same time. Insects have three body parts and six legs; spiders and some other arachnids have eight legs and two body parts; harvestmen/daddy longlegs have eight legs and apparently one body part. So one of these observations is incorrect.

Could it have been a solitary wasp like this?

The legs were much finer and the body segments were much less distinct.

Well yes, but since the thing hasn’t reappeared - it must still be lurking somewhere - I can only tell you what I remember seeing.

That has too long an abdomen and wings.

You either imagined two extra legs or an extra body part. In all probability, you mistook 6 legs in motion for 8 legs, so what you saw was probably an insect. And you also say there were no wings, but wings can lie very flat and unobtrusive.

Either that, or you’ve been visited by an alien.