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Red Folding Door Trapdoor Spider (Antrodiaetus spp.)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Red Folding Door Trapdoor Spider

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Image Credit: Tyler B.
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Image Credit: Matthew L. from OR
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Image Credit: Tyler B.
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Image Credit: Jerry Gildemeister, taken in OR
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Folding Door Trapdoor Spiders usually stay in their underground burrows until rains or the mating season force them outside.

Updated: 07/09/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Folding Trapdoor spiders are related to members of the Trapdoor Spider family. They are also related to Tarantulas which may explain similarities in form. This genus of spider lives in tubular burrows just under the ground's surface. A Folding Trapdoor spider can unfold the hatch on its underground lair instead of just popping up one large door. The large spines on the chelicera (mouthparts) of the spider aid in digging out loose soil. They are active hunters and do not spin webs for catching prey. Insects and millipedes make up their diet. When threatened, they assume a defensive posture that includes tucking in their legs. They are not aggressive despite their appearance. Like most spiders, they do bite when handled carelessly.

Like tarantulas, there is a commercial market that sells Folding Trapdoor Spiders. Many species in this genus are brown or dark brown. The black, native Pacific Folding Door Trapdoor Spider is commonly sold in the Pacific Northwest as a pet. A non-native, fiery Red Folding Trapdoor Spider may be African in origin having been brought to the continent to capitalize on the pet market. The African spider is known to be more aggressive than the native Pacific Northwest species, and sightings of the red spider in the wild may be a result of former pet owners illegally releasing them in the wild.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Antrodiaetidae
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          Genus: Antrodiaetus
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            Species: spp.
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Antrodiaetus spp.
Other Name(s): African Red Folding Door Trapdoor Spider
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 13mm to 18mm (0.51" to 0.70")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: red, brown, black
Descriptors: red, big, tarantula, aggressive, biting, venomous

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 13mm (0.5in) and 18mm (0.7in)
Lo: 13mm
Md: 15.5mm
Hi: 18mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Red Folding Door 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 Red Folding Door Trapdoor Spider. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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