General Description

Body brown, legs and abdomen often paler with dark, mottled, rib-like pattern on upper surface; some male specimens have golden hairs on the body. Large fangs are visible when threatened. Body up to 25 mm long (male), 35 mm long (female).


Due to its size, colour and large fangs, these spiders are often thought to be Sydney funnel-web spiders. The Melbourne Trapdoor spider is a common ground-dwelling spider often encountered by the weekend gardener when digging soil or moving rocks. Both males and females dig silk-lined burrows up to 40 cm deep in soft earth. Despite the reference in the common name, the entrance of the spider's burrow does not have a 'trap-door'. The spiders feed at night, waiting at the entrance of the burrow to ambush passing insects. Males leave the burrow when mature and roam in search of a mate. This roaming usually occurs in autumn or early winter and may take the spider into odd places such as inside houses, swimming pools, etc. The two large appendages on the tail of the spider are spinnerets, on which the silk glands open. Trap-door spiders have long life spans and may live from 5 to 20 years.


Southern Victoria.


In burrows on the ground in soft soil. Several strands of silk radiate from around the entrance of the burrow.

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