Trapdoor Spiders

By , in Spiders.

Coastal and highland Australia is the favorite habitat of trapdoor spiders, a spider species that perfectly suits the description of the multi-legged predator. The favorite pray of trapdoor spiders includes grasshoppers, moths, crickets, but they don’t back off when it comes to having small birds and scorpions for their meals too.

The size of trapdoor spiders is not larger than three centimeters for the body, with the females clearly dominating the males in this respect. Some varieties have golden hairs on their carapace that makes them look dusty and allows for a perfect camouflage. Trapdoor spiders may also have parallel bars on the abdomen, but this is not always the case, since diversity is at home even within the range of the same species.

Trapdoor spiders are not that easy to identify since there are other similar species for which they are often mistaken: the funnel-web spiders and the mouse spiders are the most relevant examples here. Without detailed analysis, a correct identification cannot be performed, and it is usually for the professionals to succeed in such daring attempts.

The mating period of trapdoor spiders coincides with the wet season when the males get out searching for a mate. Like with other spider species, the female sometimes eats the male, but the latter often escapes being eaten and manages to mate with several females before dying. The siblings will not appear for a few months after intercourse, and they will remain protected in the female’s burrow until they are old enough to disperse on the ground.

Among other species, trapdoor spiders have a pretty long life span from five to twenty years, and only the females make a nest, whereas males go out in the open hunting and looking for a mate. The bites of these spiders are not dangerous, though sometimes nasty symptoms may appear: itching, swelling and even pain are among the most frequently encountered. In the majority of cases medical assistance is not necessary and a bag of ice placed on the bite will do.

If discomfort does not cease, you should not postpone seeing a doctor. Although trapdoor spiders are not generally dangerous, some people may experience very strong reactions to the venom, like nausea, vomiting and headaches. The bite frequency rate is equally high both in rural and urban areas since trapdoor spiders are present in city gardens as a means of pest control.