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Spider (Trapdoor)

Bothriocyrtum californicum
Spider (Trapdoor)

Range

They are found in the southern half of the U.S. from Virginia south to Florida and west to California. They are rare in their range and hard to spot even where they do live.

Habitat

They live hidden in their burrows in grassy areas, on hillsides, and in dirt embankments.

Body Traits

Males are all black and .25 -.5” long. Females have a lighter-colored body. They are larger than males and can reach up to 1” long. They have short, shiny, black legs. The males have smaller, darker bodies and longer legs. Their legs have a sharp crook at one joint.

Habits

They burrow a few inches into the ground and line their burrow with silk. The opening has a D-shaped, hinged lid, which closes tightly protecting the spider inside. These spiders often build their burrow into the side of a bank and pop out to capture prey as they go by.

Diet

They eat insects and other spiders.

Reproduction

Females lay large numbers of eggs in their burrow and care for the young (spiderlings) for their first winter. Young leave by ballooning away on the wind on a strand of silk.

Spider (Trapdoor)

Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class:     Arachnida
Order:     Araneae
Suborder: Mygalomorphae
Family: Ctenizidae
Genus:     Bothriocyrtum
Species: B. californicum

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