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Turret Spider (Atypoides riversi)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Turret Spider

Turret Spiders are snatch-and-grab predators and their oblivious prey never see it coming.

Updated: 01/06/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Native to Northern California, the Turret Spider is part of the larger family of Folding Trapdoor Spiders that live in self-made burrows dug into the ground. Though other Trapdoor Spider-types exist, Folding Trapdoor Spiders actually make use of a door or entrance made of plant debris for the burrow, making surprise attacks even more effective. Turret Spiders, however, do not construct doorways to their burrows and may choose to leave their burrows open all day long.

The identifying colors of Turret Spiders vary depending on the part of the body; have green and brown hues while others are more purple and brown. The legs sometimes look dark brown. Males are discernibly different in that their abdomen might feature up to 3 plate-looking coverings where the female has been seen with just a single plate covering the abdomen. Females are generally larger than males.

Turret Spiders are found outdoors and are mostly limited to wooded areas that include pine tree forests, though some make their homes near the banks of moving water sources like creeks or streams. Favored dietary intake would be ants though just about any smaller insect makes for a satisfying meal. Turret Spiders like to forage for food in the nighttime hours and take to wandering the grounds after a substantial rainfall. Some have been captured and sold as 'pets', but they are best observed in their natural environment.©InsectIdentification.org

Known Diet of the Turret-Spider

ants; small insects
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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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Fast insect icon
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Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Antrodiaetidae
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          Genus: Atypoides
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            Species: riversi

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Atypoides riversi
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 13mm to 18mm (0.51" to 0.70")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green; brown; purple
Descriptors: biting; venomous; fast; hairy

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 Turret 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 Turret Spider. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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