Brown Trapdoor Spider
Dull brown / Dark brown
1.5 – 3 cm body length
Eastern Australia especially in coastal and highland regions of New South Wales and Victoria
The Sydney brown trapdoor spider, Misgolas rapax, is a trapdoor spider found primarily around Sydney, Australia. It is usually shy and retiring and is often confused with the Sydney funnel-web spider.
Sydney brown trapdoors are medium-to-large in size; the female is around 35mm in length, while the male is usually around 20mm and of a slimmer build. They are chocolate brown coloured and the males have distinct boxing glove-shaped palps, which are the appendages at the front of the head between the first pair of legs.
Males usually with a small double spur halfway along the first leg, and both females and males have a cover of paler gold hairs on their carapace (‘dusty’ appearance, unlike the ‘glossy’ Funnel-web carapace). The abdomen often has pale transverse bars and their eyes are in two compact rows across the head.
Usually shy and retiring the brown trapdoor spider will occasionally stand up and show its fangs if harassed inside its burrow. They spend most of the time in their burrows. At night, they wait for food in front of their burrows.
Mature males wander during humid weather in search of a mate. Mating takes place within the female's burrow. Usually the male escapes being eaten in order to mate with several females, before dying. The eggs are kept in the female's burrow in a cocoon. After hatching, the spiderlings stay in the burrow for some time and eventually emerge to disperse and fend for themselves.
Brown trapdoor spiders dig an open burrow in the ground that is lined with silk. These burrows may reach 250mm in depth and around 25mm in width. Brown trapdoors are often found scattered of silk trip lines around the entrance.
Brown trapdoor spiders are often mistaken for funnel-web spiders but their bites are not dangerous.
photo provided by Queensland Museum, Jett Wright.
Information provided by Bayer.
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