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Cork-lid Trapdoor Spider (Ummidia spp.)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Cork-lid Trapdoor Spider

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Image Credit: Chris G., taken on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Ridgeland, MS
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Image Credit: Chris G., taken on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Ridgeland, MS
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Image Credit: Chris G., taken on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Ridgeland, MS
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Image Credit: Chris G., taken on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Ridgeland, MS
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Shallow bunkers covered with spider silk and debris hide stealthy Cork-lid Trapdoor Spiders from unsuspecting nearby prey.

Updated: 11/03/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The one what hides also seeks 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 this tunnel close to walkways that are frequently used by bugs, lizards, and small mammals, increasing the likelihood of catching something. Using its silk, the spider 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 the spider, hiding inside the burrow, senses a vibration or tremor of a passerby, it flips up the trapdoor, grabs its meal, and drags it down 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 and may have similar overall features. Females also use the tunnel to lay eggs and raise young spiderlings, but 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.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Fast insect icon
Hairy insect icon
Rounded insect body icon
Shiny insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Ctenizidae
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          Genus: Ummidia
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            Species: spp.

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Ummidia spp.
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 18mm (0.59" to 0.70")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, white
Descriptors: shiny, fast, round, rings, bands, hairy, divot, dimple, door

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 15mm (0.6in) and 18mm (0.7in)
Lo: 15mm
Md: 16.5mm
Hi: 18mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Cork-lid Trapdoor Spider may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Cork-lid Trapdoor Spider. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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