See Trap Door Spiders Rise Out of the Ground To Feast on Prey

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: June 5, 2023
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These are clever spiders! They have evolved to use a cunning technique to capture prey – the trap door spiders literally make a trap door! They use whatever substrate they are living on to construct the device. In the below clip, we get to see their amazing hunting method.

What Species Are Trap Door Spiders?

There is actually no single species of trap door spiders. Instead, it is a term that describes spiders that use this particular hunting method. However, most of the spiders in the group belong to the infraorder Mygalomorphae. Several hundred species belonging to at least 11 different families would be described in this way. Conversely, some experts believe that spiders in the Ctenizidae family are the only true trap door spiders.

Because they do not all belong to the same species, these spiders vary in appearance and that is apparent in the video. Nevertheless, they are generally between half an inch and one and a half inches long. Most have eight eyes but some only have six. They also range in color.

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Trapdoor spider
There are several hundred species of trap door spiders


What Exactly Is a Trap Door?

Trap door spiders can live in a range of habitats. Many are found in tropical or subtropical forests but others are found in temperate woodlands or even meadows. The thing that they nearly all have in common is that they dig burrows although some live in plant stems. Their defining feature, of course, is their ability to build trap doors!

There are three types of trap doors which are: wafers, cork, and folding. The wafer trap doors are very thin and practically transparent. The folded trapdoors can be folded open or closed. The cork-like trapdoors are sometimes considered to be the “true” trapdoors and are what we see in this clip. They often have a hinge made from silk.

Trap Door Spider Hunting Technique

The spiders hide in their burrow, completely hidden from view by their door. They detect prey by feeling for vibrations made by insects or even small frogs and mice, then they fling open the door and grab the prey. It’s all over in an instant.

Watch the Incredible Footage Below

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About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

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