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Australian Wildlife

  Melbourne Trapdoor Spider (Stanwellia grisea)





Melbourne Trapdoor Spider | Stanwellia grisea photo
Melbourne Trapdoor Spider

Image by Glenn McKechnie - GNU Free Documentation License.    (view image details)



SPIDER FACTS

Description
The Melbourne Trapdoor is a large robust spider with a brown cephalothorax and legs. The abdomen is often paler with a dark mottled pattern on upper surface. Males sometimes have golden hairs on the cephalothorax. Males are smaller than females and have longer legs. Both males and females dig silk-lined burrows in soft soil up to 40cm deep. There are usually trip lines of silk strands radiating from around the entrance of the burrow. The burrow doesn't actually have a trap door, though, despite the name. These spiders are often confused with Sydney funnel-web spiders.

Size
Body Length: Male 25mm, Female: 35mm

Habitat
common ground-dwelling spider that is often encountered by gardeners digging soil or moving rocks.

Food
They feed at night waiting at the burrow entrance to ambush passing insects.

Breeding
Mature males leave the burrow and go looking for females in late autumn and winter. Wandering males may wander into houses or fall into swimming pools. Trap-door spiders can live from 5 to 20 years.

Notes
The Melbourne Trapdoor Spider has large fangs and can inflict a deep and painful wound, but the venom is not dangerous.



Classification
Class:Arachnida
Order:Mygalomorphae
Family:Nemesiidae
Genus:Stanwellia
Species:grisea
Common Name:Melbourne Trapdoor Spider