Currently viewing the category: "Tarantulas and Trapdoor Spiders"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this spider dangerous?
Location: Zambia
January 28, 2016 4:23 am
Hi, we’ve been living in central Zambia in the bushy outskirts of a town for 8 months now and today was the first time I’ve seen one of these kind of spiders. It’s tarantula looking and about 2 to 3 inches at full span. We have children here too which causes me even more concern and worry if they would be tempted to approach one. Can you please tell me if they bite or are poisonous please?
Signature: Many thanks for your help

Tarantula: Ceratogyrus meridionalis

Tarantula: Ceratogyrus meridionalis

Your gorgeous Tarantula is Ceratogyrus meridionalis. which we identified on BirdSpiders.  Tarantulas are not aggressive, but they can give a painful, though not generally serious, bite if carelessly handled.  Teach your children while they are young to have respect for lower beasts.

Tarantula

Tarantula

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Southwestern Spider
Location: Phoenix Arizona Metro
January 17, 2016 7:56 pm
Somebody found this spider in a pool filter in Arizona and it doesn’t resemble anything we have seen here before.
Signature: GB

Trapdoor Spider

Trapdoor Spider

Dear GB,
We believe this Trapdoor Spider is most likely a male in the genus
Ummidia.  With winter rains, male Trapdoor Spiders wander in search of a mate a frequently fall into pools.  Compare your image, which is most likely swollen with water after drowning, to this BugGuide image.

Daniel,
Thank you for your response. I agree with your assessment that this critter had been submerged for a while, making it difficult to identify.
Seems ironic that a lot of humanoid males also wander into pools in search of a mate.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: 3-4 inch spider!
Location: Santee
December 28, 2015 7:38 pm
Hello, we fished this spider out of our pool yesterday in Santee, California. I think it’s a trap door spider but it is 3 to 4 inches long and from what I’ve read they are usually much smaller. Do you think it’s possible? If not what type of spider do you think it is?
Signature: Jill

Male California Trapdoor Spider

Male California Trapdoor Spider

Dear Jill,
This is indeed a male California Trapdoor Spider BugGuide does not list a size for the species, but it does provide this fascinating bit of information:  “According to Guinness World Records, as of 2009, this is the strongest spider. It has been able to resist a force 38 times its own weight when defending its trapdoor. This equates to a man trying to hold a door closed while it is being pulled on the other side by a small jet plane.(1) Unfortunately, the Guinness book doesn’t mention if it’s the strongest North American spider or if it’s the strongest in the world. Also, one thing to think about is whether or not every spider’s strength has been measured (no, they most definitely have not). The information is flawed in many respects, but it still asserts the fact that these spiders are pretty strong.”  In our own experience, while four inches seems a bit large, a three inch measurement is within reason for a large male, but it is also possible that drowning caused this individual to swell larger than its life size.  Generally, the first sightings of the year for male California Trapdoor Spiders coincide with the first seasonal rains as the males begin searching for mates at that time.  Though we were away from the office when you wrote, we understand there was some southern California rain around that time.  Today though is the official arrival of El Niño rains in Los Angeles.

Thank you! Very interesting information. I appreciate you taking the time to get back to me.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What spider is this
Location: Victoria
October 27, 2015 5:58 pm
Hi I found this guy running outside on a hot night. I have an idea of what it might be was hoping if you could tell me. Hopefully it’s not what I think it is
Signature: ?

Funnel Web Spider

Funnel Web Spider

We thought this looked like a male Trapdoor Spider, and when we began to research its identity, we thought we found a match with the Sydney Funnel Web Spider, Atrax robustus, which according to the Australian Museum site:  “are shiny, dark brown to black spiders with finger-like spinnerets (silk-spinning organs) at the end of their abdomen. Males have a large mating spur projecting from the middle of their second pair of legs. If threatened, Sydney Funnel-webs show aggressive behaviour, rearing and displaying their impressive fangs.”  Regarding the bite of the Sydney Funnel Web Spider, the Australian Museum states:  “Again, it is true that Sydney Funnel-webs have one of the most toxic venoms (to humans) of any spider. However, it is not true that all funnel-web bites are life-threatening. The venom of juvenile and female Sydney Funnel-web Spiders is much less toxic. Nor do they jump onto, or chase people, or live in houses – these are all urban myths.”  We then checked Animal Diversity Web and learned that Sydney Funnel Web Spiders are:  “Found only in Australia within a 160-kilometer radius of Sydney. There are other species of funnel-web spiders in Eastern Australia, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania” so we suspect your individual is a different species of Funnel Web Spider.  Since we will be away from the office for a few days and we are currently post-dating submissions to go live in our absence, we thought this would make a great Halloween posting, a holiday you probably do not have in Australia, as well as a good Bug of the Month for November 2015.  Poor spider appears to have met an untimely end, so in the spirit of promoting appreciation of the lower beasts, we are also tagging your submission as Unnecessary Carnage.

Funnel Web Spider

Funnel Web Spider

Thank you so much for the quick response.  I thought it was a Sydney funnel as well I’m not disrespecting you at all I have read the same information but I just don’t believe that they couldn’t be here in Victoria. I have sent the pics to several different sights and exterminators and they all say Sydney Funnel Web too so I don’t know what to do I’m just worried about my kids. So if you think it might be another type it would be fantastic if you can find out and let me know. Thanks again. Happy Halloween
Hayley Saunders

Hi Hayley,
If it is true that Sydney Funnel Web Spiders are found only within 160 kilometers of Sydney, then your spider is probably a different species.  It would stand to reason that other Funnel Web Spiders, especially if they are in the same genus, would look very similar, but perhaps do not have as dangerous a bite.  We would suggest taking it to your nearest natural history museum and ask if there is an arachnologist that could verify its identity. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Blue tarantula
Location: San Antonio, Texas
September 30, 2015 10:08 pm
I discovered this blue tarantula in my backyard this morning. I was having difficulties finding any information on it online. I’m located outside of San Antonio, Texas. The spider was around 3 inches long.
Signature: Ryan Walters

Blue Tarantula???

Blue Tarantula???

Dear Ryan,
The only Tarantulas listed on BugGuide from Texas are in the genus
Aphonopelma, and we did locate one image on BugGuide of Aphonopelma behlei  that has a bluish cast, but not as extreme as your individual.  Perhaps someone with more knowledge on Tarantulas will be able to provide additional information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of spider is this?
Location: Southern California
September 29, 2015 12:32 am
We live in the mountains of Southern California, and this was outside our front door this morning. I am having a hard time figuring out what it is. It is probably 1.5-2″ in diameter.
Signature: Shannon

Tarantula

Tarantula

Dear Shannon,
This is a Tarantula, and if you are in the mountains, we suspect you have considerable amounts of open space that can provide habitat for Tarantulas which have been eliminated in many urban areas because of over building and habitat loss.

Thanks for getting back to me! I thought it was a tarantula, but I couldn’t be sure. Is it probably young since it is small-ish?

That is possible.  Males tend to travel in search of mates and they are smaller than females, and California Tarantulas are smaller than many tropical relatives.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination