Drowned Tarantula

Spider with 10 legs???
I found this spider floating dead in my pool today. I fished it out, spread the legs out (which seemed to have small hooks on the ends), and took these photos. We do have a lot of Wolf Spiders here but this one seemed too big to be a wolf spider. Is it a Trap-Door Spider or a Tarantula? Do these normally live outside or are they found inside houses too. I would hate to wake up and find one in my bed. Plus are those "extra legs" in front the mandibles of the spider? And do they bite? Thanks for answering all my questions. Thanks for such a wonderful website,
Jannine C.
Walnut Creek, CA

Hi Jannine,
This is a Tarantula. During the winter in the American Southwest, male Mygalomorphs, the suborder that included Tarantulas and Trapdoor Spiders, wander in search of mates. There are many casualities, like your poor drowned suitor. Tarantulas might wander into homes, but they are just occasional visitors, not inhabitants. The fifth pair of legs you mention are called pedipalps. Pedipalps are enlarged in many male spiders so they can transfer sperm to the female.

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