Currently viewing the category: "Tarantulas and Trapdoor Spiders"
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Subject: Large spider from Ecuador
Location: Vilcabamba, Ecuador
February 1, 2015 3:28 pm
Hey I recently found this spider hiding in my towel! Have tried looking at different possibilities but none seem to fit the bill. It was found in September, in Vilcabamba , Ecuador. Someone suggested it was called Jamaco by the natives here, a type of bird-prey spider, but im not convinced. Any help would be greatly appreciated to satisfy my curiosity of who this visitor was!
Signature: Etienne

Tarantula

Tarantula

Dear Etienne,
This is some species of Tarantula, but we are not certain of the species.  The Spinnerets on the tip of the abdomen are especially pronounced in your individual.  According to Tarántulas de México:  “Spinnerets are movable structures located in the rear of the opisthosoma, and are in charge of expelling and placing the silk web produced by four internal glands. As the silk passes through the ducts and reaches the spinnerets, its molecular structure changes and becomes very resistant. It comes out through small tubes located by the hundreds in the lower part of the spinnerets; then the silk dries, and reaches the consistency we all know.  Tarantulas have four spinnerets: The two lower ones are small, and the higher ones are larger and very mobile.”  We did locate a similar looking Ecuadorean Tarantula on Susan Swensen Witherup’s Ithaca College profile.  Maria Sibylla Merian’s 17th Century illustration of a Bird Eating Tarantula was a hotly debated issue in her time and that illustration caused her to fall out of favor among naturalists because of questions of its authenticity.  According to Tarantulas of Ecuador:  “
Theraphosa Blondi
The largest species of tarantula is also called the goliath bird-eating spider, and its leg span can reach up to 12 inches. They are burrowers and spend the majority of their lives inside their homes, never moving more than a few feet away even while hunting. They prefer swampy areas near water, where their brown bodies will blend into the surroundings. Considered extremely aggressive, these spiders do not make good pets, and are prone to biting — their 1-inch fangs can do a great deal of damage, although the venom is not fatal to humans. The typical diet of this spider includes amphibians, rodents, insects, snakes and the occasional small bird.”  It is pictured on Wonderful Insects by Frank Fieldler, and it does not resemble your Tarantula.  Perhaps one of our readers can provide information on the identity of your Tarantula.

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Subject: Spider
Location: Santa Clarita, CA
December 18, 2014 8:51 am
found this spider climbing up my patio. Wondering what it is
Signature: Thank you

Male California Trapdoor Spider

Male California Trapdoor Spider

This gorgeous creature is a male California Trapdoor Spider, and we frequently receive sightings and submissions after the first heavy rains of the season when the males leave their burrows and seek mates.

Kathleen Travis Perin, Southern California Wildlife, Hema Shah liked this post
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Subject: Spider in Cape Town
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
November 9, 2014 1:55 pm
We found this next to our home in Cape Town near table mountain – can you identify it?
Signature: Regards

Probably Trapdoor Spider

Probably Trapdoor Spider

We believe this is a Trapdoor Spider, a primitive group classified along with Tarantulas in the infraorder Mygalomorphae.  We believe it might be a Common Baboon Spider, Harpactira atra, which we found on iSpot.

Common Baboon Spider, we believe

Common Baboon Spider, we believe

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Subject: Spider Scorpion!?
Location: Yakima, WA
November 5, 2014 4:54 pm
I found this spider that appears to have a scorpion tail! What is this bug!?
Signature: Michael D.

Trapdoor Spider

Trapdoor Spider

Dear Michael,
This is a Trapdoor Spider, most likely a Folding-Door Spider in the family Antrodiaetidae based on images posted to BugGuide.

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Ed. Note:  These two submissions came to our personal email accounts from friends.  Of  California Trapdoor Spiders, Charles Hogue wrote in his landmark book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin in 1974:  “”Their rarity now is another example of human expansion destroying the habitat of a local animal.”  Luckily in Glassell Park and Mount Washington, we have a specific plan to help preserve open space and to limit development scale in the hillsides.  We are also blessed with many open space parks that serve as habitat preservation.

Trapdoor Spiders
Location:  Glassell Park, Los Angeles, California
November 1, 2014
Hi Daniel,
My tenant just found this beauty wondering around in the studio.  He looks enormous!  I’m guessing a good 2” long.
Any ideas of what he might be?
Helene

Male California Trapdoor Spider

Male California Trapdoor Spider

Hi Helene,
Tell your tenant that this is a male California Trapdoor Spider, and the first rains of the season generally trigger mating activity in the males which leave their burrows in search of a mate.  Clare send us an image of a male California Trapdoor Spider that she found on her front stoop yesterday.

Trapdoor Spider
November 1, 2013
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
he was huddled on the doorstep this morning.
so, i brought him in.
he’s cold. perhaps washed out of his burrow?
i think i should keep him for a few days until it dries up?
the, he could make a burrow more successfully.
would he eat small crickets?
he was frightened and on a slippery surface.
i moved him into an aerated jam jar which has soil in it.
so he’s happier.
i’ll let him go in a few days.
c.

Male California Trapdoor Spider

Male California Trapdoor Spider

Input from Julian Donahue
‘d release him (most likely male) now. Yes, rain probably brought him out, although this is the time of year males wander about looking for receptive females. That way you don’t have to worry about feeding him either–I suspect they don’t eat much, if at all, this time of year.
jpd

i transferred him to a pot with soil and lid.
will let hm go tomorrow.
i wonder if evening or daylight best?
the termites are swarming over here…
c.

I’d release him tonight–they seem to be primarily nocturnal, since that’s when they usually end up in the pool.
jpd

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

October 18, 2018
Aloha Daniel –
Thought you’d enjoy this story, if you’ve not seen it before.
http://news.yahoo.com/goliath-encounter-puppy-sized-spider-surprises-scientist-rainforest-125720953.html

Ed. Note:  Piotr Naskrecki frequently helps us identify exotic Katydids.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination