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

Subject:  East Texas Arachnid
Geographic location of the bug:  East Texas
Date: 10/10/2017
Time: 11:29 AM EDT
Greetings! Long-time reader and fellow entomomaniac here. I have a friend who found this fellow around her home in East Texas in September. I’ll admit that my arachnid knowledge is lacking; my best guess was that it was a juvenile tarantula that had recently molted, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!
How you want your letter signed:  Dani Gardner

Trapdoor Spider

Dear Dani,
This is not a Tarantula, but it is a Trapdoor Spider that is classified along with Tarantulas as a primitive spider in the infraorder Mygalomorphae. We will attempt to provide you with a species identification.

Sounds good! Thank you very much for your help!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Dead spiders in my pool
Geographic location of the bug:  Killeen, Texas
Date: 10/07/2017
Time: 05:48 PM EDT
Found it dead in the pool. Just curious what it is and if me and my guests need to worry. Legs outstretched it was about 4″ from… toe to toe? And torso was around 1.75″ long.
How you want your letter signed:  Mike

Male Trapdoor Spider

Dear Mike,
This is a male Trapdoor Spider, probably in the genus
Ummidia, and they are not aggressive.  Male Trapdoor Spiders wander in search of a mate and males are frequently found drowned in pools.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Ilhabela,SP – Brazil
Date: 10/03/2017
Time: 10:43 PM EDT
Whats that spider?
How you want your letter signed:  Antonio Prado


Dear Antonio,
This is a Tarantula.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Unknown large spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Western Sierra Nevada foothills
Date: 09/30/2017
Time: 03:06 PM EDT
Could you tell me what this spider is?
How you want your letter signed:  Jesse


Dear Jesse,
This Tarantula might be
Aphonopelma eutylenum, a species found in California and represented on BugGuide.  This Reddit image is described as a “California Ebony Tarantula (Aphonopelma eutylenum).”


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Spider
Location:  Westridge Park, California
August 26, 2017 12:13 pm
Running with my dog in Westridge Park and almost stepped on this big harry guy!
Signature:  Sharon

California Tarantula

Dear Sharon,
This is a Tarantula, and you are in California, making this a California Tarantula, an unofficial name for members of the genus
Aphonopelma, the only North American genus of Tarantulas known west of the Mississippi River.  See BugGuide for more on the genus, including this information on identification:  “The Aphonopelma of North American are poorly known. Although many species have been described few specimens can be properly identified either by using available keys or by wading through species descriptions. Most identifiable specimens belong to species found in Mexico or Central America that are easily recognized by unique color patterns, such as that of A. seemanni. Correct identification of specimens collected within the United States is often suspect since determinations must be based on the process of elimination using collection dates and locality data in combination with coloration, coxal setation, and metatarsal scopulation.”

Are they as dangerous as their reputation?  Could Finn or I get bit/stung and could it cause issues?  Thanks What’s That Bug for 15 years of awesome knowledge and assistance:)

Tarantulas are reluctant to bite, but should one decide to bite, it might be painful and might produce a local reaction.  The venom is not considered dangerous, however, Tarantulas do have urticating hairs that could cause an irritation.  According to Amateur Entomologists’ Society:  “Urticating hairs are possessed by some arachnids (specifically tarantulas) and insects (most notably larvae of some butterflies and moths). The hairs have barbs which cause the hair to work its way into the skin of a vertebrate. They are therefore an effective defence against predation by mammals.”  These hairs are much more likely to cause problems than a bite, and a nose-full of urticating hairs would not be a pleasant experience for Finn and it might require a trip to the vet.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What’s That Bug? turns fifteen today!!!
Dear faithful readers,
What’s That Bug? has several dates that we acknowledge.  We started as a column in the zine American Homebody in May 1998, and when the now defunct website American Homebody went live in 2001, we had our first presence on the internet.  See the history of American Homebody on Lisa Anne Auerbach’s site. We existed in that format for a year, and then on August 25, 2002, we registered the domain, and this was our first posting as a unique website.  There was no image with that submission, and we found an image from the internet to use.  That launch date for our site predates the popularity of cellular telephones with the ability to take images.  Early submissions to our site required actual digital cameras to provide images.  Through the years, our mission has always been to educate people to appreciate and tolerate the lower beasts.  Interestingly, Longhorn Beetles, the category of that first posting, is still the most populated category on our site with 1012 postings as of right now.  Here is a gorgeous image of a Banded Alder Borer from our archives.

Banded Alder Borer (from our archives)

Congratulations dear Daniel!  Your site is so fascinating and you have maintained it faithfully and you have followers all over the world.  Thank you for keeping us intrigued.

WTB is a great resource for me, particularly as it’s imbued with Daniel’s humor, as well as his knowledge.
Particularly fun is the Bug Love section 😀
Daniel’s beautiful book, “The Curious World of Bugs”,
( Ours is signed to Jessica with the admonition: “Do good work on the dark continent; and Don’t let the Creechies bite”)
should be on everyone’s shelf, as far as I’m concerned!

Congratulations on keeping us up to date for so long on bugs far and wide, Daniel!
Here is a photo of Ariadne, who will be 32 next month.
Sending her kind regards with mine!

Ariadne the Tarantula

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination