Cork-Lid Trapdoor Spider (Ummidia spp.)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Cork-Lid Trapdoor Spider.
Updated: 2/26/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Shallow bunkers covered with spider silk and debris hide stealthy Cork-Lid Trapdoor Spiders from unsuspecting nearby prey.
The 'hider' also does the seeking in this life-and-death game of "What's for Dinner". A Cork-Lid Trapdoor Spider digs out a tunnel in the ground using its mouthparts and legs. It places it close to walkways frequently used by bugs, lizards and small mammals, increasing the likelihood of catching something. Using spider silk, it creates a hinged lid to cover the burrow. A hinge offers easy concealment for the retreat and ensures the burrow will not lose its lid if thrown open quickly. This trapdoor is made to fit the exact size of the opening, like a cork stopper. Once a spider inside the burrow senses the vibration or tremor of a passerby, it flips up the trapdoor, grabs its meal, and drags it into the retreat to consume it.
This family of spiders comprises smaller and less hairy spiders than Tarantulas, but they come from the same infraorder so they are distant relatives. Females also use the tunnel to lay eggs and raise young spiderlings. Unlike other types of spiders, the mother stays in the nursery, protecting her offspring from parasitic predators like wasps until the spiderlings are able to forge out on their own.