1. Important Announcement - Upcoming Downtime - Software Upgrade

    Please see here for more details.
Hello there, why not take a few seconds to register on our forums and become part of the community? Just click here.

How to collect American trapdoor spiders?

Discussion in 'Field Trips (Natural Habitats)' started by Hydrophilus, May 23, 2019.

  1. Hydrophilus

    Hydrophilus Arachnopeon Arachnosupporter

    We don't have any trapdoor spiders in my area, but I'll be in southern Kentucky this holiday weekend and am hoping to make a couple forays to look for and collect Myrmekiaphila and Antrodiaetus. I've seen Myrmekiaphila, Cyclocosmia, and Ummidia in a number of places in the gulf coast before, so I know the kind of habitat to look for, but I have never tried to collect them.

    Does anyone here have experience collecting these genera? I'd prefer not to dig up the whole burrow. I have heard of people taking a knife or trowel and quickly slicing up and into the bank a few inches behind a burrow entrance, preventing the spiders from backing all the way down their burrows, but obviously that only works when they are waiting at their entrance. Has anyone tried pouring water down a burrow to "flush" them out? That seems like a far less destructive method that would also enable collecting during the day.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. squidkid

    squidkid Arachnoknight

    water, for me did not work with Bothriocyrtum californicum. i ended up having to dig the about half of the burrow out, after that the lining collapsed and i was able to just pull the liner out with the spider inside.

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 2
  3. Hydrophilus

    Hydrophilus Arachnopeon Arachnosupporter

    Thanks for the reply! I spoke to a friend that has some experience with collecting trapdoors and he stated something similar. I'd hate to do so much digging in their habitat, but I guess that's just how it's done. Nice find on the Bothriocyrtum btw, I'm quite envious! With some luck I might try to swing through part of California next January to search for some.

    Unfortunately I was unable to find access to good trapdoor habitat this past weekend. Every place I had picked out on google ended up being a park, posted, or completely obscured by ground vines. I'll give it another go later this summer!
  4. squidkid

    squidkid Arachnoknight

    it didn't take very long to dig her out, maybe 10 mins max. the burrow was not as deep as i have seen described, 8-10 inches probably. but this specimen was smallish. the abdomen being slightly bigger than a penny in circumference.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Arthroverts

    Arthroverts Arachnoprince Active Member

    @squidkid, where did you find the trapdoor? You have piqued my curiosity.


  6. squidkid

    squidkid Arachnoknight

    @Arthroverts, there is a canyon near my neighborhood that is chock full. you caan't go 20 feet without seeing a trapdoor
  7. Hydrophilus

    Hydrophilus Arachnopeon Arachnosupporter

    Thanks for the reply, @squidkid. 10 minutes isn't too much of a time commitment to exchange for a trapdoor spider. Was there much permanent damage to the surrounding habitat by your efforts?
  8. squidkid

    squidkid Arachnoknight

    while there was no visible damage to surrounding burrows there was a shallow hole about ~1.5-2 feet in diameter
    • Like Like x 1
  9. charlesbrooks

    charlesbrooks Arachnopeon

    Please let me know if you are interested in selling. I've been trying to find some for sale for awhile now..
  10. squidkid

    squidkid Arachnoknight

    although i have access to a large quantity of wild specimens i don't have interest in selling. i think its a bit immoral to take wild spiders and make money on them. sorry and i wish you luck in finding or purchasing some of your own
  11. charlesbrooks

    charlesbrooks Arachnopeon

    I can respect, and completely understand your decision, thanks..
  12. squidkid

    squidkid Arachnoknight

    thank you for understanding :)
  13. Smokehound714

    Smokehound714 Arachnoking Active Member

    you can actually get cork lid spiders out by opening their door, then as they rush out to close it, hold it til they dig their fangs in, then carefully pry it open- they usually will not let go. if you can expose the spider enough to poke its spinnerets, it should dart out and try to flee, making capture simple. I never dig trapdoors up, it's a waste of energy, just get to em at night when they open their doors, and you might simply be able to lure them out by dragging a stick around

    switch to red light so they dont get spooked, it's WAY easier.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Helpful Helpful x 1
  14. squidkid

    squidkid Arachnoknight

    thanks that helps a lot.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.