Currently viewing the category: "Tarantulas and Trapdoor Spiders"

Subject:  What kind of spider is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Peru-Machu Picchu
Date: 08/29/2021
Time: 05:48 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi! I saw the spider pictured in my photo on a rock at Machu Picchu in late August.
How you want your letter signed:  Melinda

Trapdoor Spider we believe

Dear Melinda,
This is a primitive spider in the Infraorder Mygalomorphae, a group that includes Tarantulas and Trapdoor Spiders.  Your individual does not look hairy enough to be a Tarantula, so we suspect it is a Trapdoor Spider.  We did try to locate matching images online with no luck, though we searched for both Tarantulas and Trapdoor Spiders in Peru.

Update:  Linothele uniformis
A special thanks to Cesar Crash of Insetologia who wrote in identifying this Mygalomorph as a Funnel Web Spider, Linothele uniformis, and providing this link to Science Press.


Subject:  Mygalomorphae
Geographic location of the bug:  South Texas
Date: 07/08/2021
Time: 02:05 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found these two in a cup on my porch after returning from out of town after a few days. Someone told me they are mygalomorphae. My question is are they venomous/dangerous to man.
How you want your letter signed:  Dan

Trapdoor Spider

Dear Dan,
We suspect this might be a male Southwestern Trapdoor Spider,
Eucteniza relata, which is pictured on BugGuide, or a closely related species and then again, we may be wrong.  Perhaps one of our readers more skilled in arachnology will be able to identify the species.  According to BugGuide:  “Eutecniza males can be recognized by the presence of 1-2 mid-ventral megaspines on the tibia of both legs I and II” but we do not have the necessary skills to make that definitive identification.  Your amusing collection of Trapdoor Spiders, Longhorned Borer Beetles and Cockroaches is quite the still life.  Trapdoor Spiders may bite humans but they are not considered dangerous.

Subject:  Black hairy scary spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Marbella, Spain
Date: 06/03/2021
Time: 11:30 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Could you please help me to identify this spider? It is dead, but I think pretty recent as I used a pencil to extend its front leg and it didn’t break. I actually thought it was going to move. Found it on the living room floor. Size is about 1″ body length, front leg 1-1/4″ long. Approximately, didn’t not have time to measure it. Is it poisonous, deadly? Live in Southern Spain, Costa del Sol, less than 1 mile from the Mediterranean Sea. Any info can help. Do you think a family is near by?
How you want your letter signed:  Debi

Andalucian Funnel-Web Spider

Dear Debi,
The extremely long spinnerets on the tip of the abdomen is such a distinguishing feature, we had no trouble identifying the endangered Andalucian Funnel-Web Spider,
Macrothele calpeiana, on The Olive Press where it states:  “The Andalucian funnel-web spider is considered to be the largest in Europe and is easily recognisable.  They are jet black with a glossy carapace and fine hairs on their legs and abdomen.  The 1.5 cm-long spinnerets, at the rear, almost look like extra legs.  The body can be up to 3.5 cm long and the stretched legs can reach a span of 8 cm.”  The site also states:  “This is the only spider in Europe to be protected by the European Union Habitats Directive.  They are found mostly in Cádiz and Málaga provinces with smaller numbers in scattered enclaves discovered in Huelva, Sevilla, Granada, Jaén, Gibraltar and the furthest north Badajoz, in Extremadura.”  According to Wildside Holidays (where those prior two quotes appear to have originated) :  “These spiders are most active at night when they will wait at the tunnel entrance for prey to become glued onto the silken web. Their diet consists of small insects such as beetles, woodlouse, millipedes and crickets. When they feel the vibration of a trapped insect they will carefully approach, then bite the ill-fated prey with venom which will begin to liquefy it as they wrap it in silk. The venom is injected into their prey through openings in the tips of the pair of fangs. The glands that produce this venom are located in the two segments of the chelicerae. (The parts to which the fangs are attached).”  By the way, we are relieved to learn you discovered this magnificent spider dead as we did not want to have to tag your posting as Unnecessary Carnage.

Subject:  Rare pale wishbone spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Adelaide hills
Date: 05/04/2019
Time: 03:10 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi daniel, i think this
Is a pale wishbone spider can you confirm? Also i didnt kill this arafhnid because i love animals and bugs way too much lol also what insect/arachnid is its fav food And it looks like a mouse spider so how bad is the venom?
How you want your letter signed:  Cael Gallery

Possibly Pale Wishbone Spider

Dear Cael,
We cannot say for certain that this is a Pale Wishbone Spider, but it surely resembles the individual pictured on the where it states:  “Wishbone spiders are mostly medium-sized mygalomorphs, similar to funnelwebs, but with a golden or silvery look due to fine hairs on the head. They cannot climb smooth vertical surfaces. They have two small spinnerets seen at the rear end of the body, usually pointing up. Their name is derived from their Y shaped shallow burrows, to about 40cm deep, with one arm slightly concealed below the surface of the soil. The Main entrance is lightly covered with silk but has no door.”  Elsewhere on, Pale Wishbone Spiders in the genus
Aname are described as:  “A medium to large mygalomorph spider with an open burrow, in drier parts of Australia. The burrow is sometimes raised at the surface and shallow, Y shaped, lined with silk, and inclined perhaps to a depth of 40cm at most. This spider has a pale carapace, unusual for Aname, which usually are black spiders. Males have a long spine at the middle of the tibia, the shin section on the first leg, and are quick to rise to the defensive pose. The spinnerets project some distance beyond the rear, usually straight out.”

Ok Thank you, I am only 11 so not the best at identifying but I’m gonna pat myself on the back for getting that far lol

Subject:  Tarantula?
Geographic location of the bug:  East Bay, California (Danville)
Date: 05/06/2019
Time: 12:49 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there,
We found this guy at the bottom of the pool in early May, and sadly it doesn’t appear that he was a swimmer. We would love to know what kind of tarantula he was, as it appears most of the local sighting are on Mount Diablo and not down in the valley by us.  The California Ebony tarantula seems to be most prevalent in this region, but the pictures we’ve seen online don’t look like an exact match (ie ours has 4 orange spots on his belly).  Thank you for any help or advice you might be able to give!!
Ps we didn’t get a chance to measure him but the last picture has the hand of a 12-year-old for reference.
How you want your letter signed:  Clueless in Cali


Dear Clueless in Cali,
Based on BugGuide images and the reported range, we believe this is
Aphonopelma iodius.  According tom SF Bay Wildlife:  ” The species in the Bay area has been determined to be Aphonopelma iodius.”



Subject:  Sphodros rufipes?
Geographic location of the bug:  Huntingtown, Maryland
Date: 02/06/2019
Time: 01:10 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Have I correctly identified this guy and his he poisonous to humans and dogs?
How you want your letter signed:  Lori S

Red Legged Purseweb Spider

Dear Lori,
This is indeed a beautiful, male Red Legged Purseweb Spider.  This species poses no significant threat to humans or animals.  According to Animal Diversity Web:  “These spiders are rarely encountered by humans and are not pests. While venomous, they only serve as a threat to those who are highly sensitive to insect bites.”

Thank you. I understand that it’s rare to see one….supposedly. Either way, I  thought it was a beautiful sight. Thank you for getting back to me.
Lori Sampson