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?

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.

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.

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…

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

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Location: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA

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