I only find out now about this?

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and no one ever told me about the Pacific folding trap-door spider. I sure never saw one. But this lucky woman out walking her dog saw one on the sidewalk and — oh what a waste — ran away.

Experts say the spider she spotted is a Pacific folding trap-door spider. It’s not a tarantula, but it is a “tarantuloid” – a related type of arachnid – according to Jaymie Chudiak, general manager of the Victoria Bug Zoo.

“It is the closest thing we have to a tarantula,” Chudiak said. “They are incredibly beautiful, but also very large, so people who do see them go, ‘Oh my gosh, what is that? It’s enormous.’ But they’re actually extremely docile and timid.”

If you want, there’s a picture at the link. It’s beautiful.

I also learned this.

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.

“Commonly”? “Commonly”? It is true. I wasted my youth, because I never saw one. Now I want to.


  1. komarov says

    “But they’re actually extremely docile and timid.””

    So they can be trained? Sit, stay, stand up on four legs? Kill the cat before it kills me, perhaps? Or even, breed and breeda and breed, then conquer the world in my name? Crush all who would oppose us mercilessly under your [arachnid heel] (and suck their remains dry)?

    I might be reading a bit too much into one word there. Am I being paranoid? Or am I not being paranoid enough?

  2. nomdeplume says

    They shouldn’t be allowed to sell wild animals as pets.

    Am still unclear – is it the spider that folds or its trap door?

  3. raven says


    VANCOUVER — With a terrifying new moniker, social media is abuzz with tales of the “murder hornet,” an flying insect that rips bees apart and “carries a painful, sometimes lethal sting,” according to entomologists at Washington State University.

    The Asian giant hornet has been spotted for the first time in Washington State, setting off a wave of media coverage that has resonated with the “end times” feeling of the spring of 2020.

    That spider isn’t anything to worry about compared to the invasion of the Asian giant hornet.

    It’s been in BC for a year and has been seen moving south into Washington state.
    If they can’t eradicate it from the PNW in the next few years, chances are that it will eventually be everywhere in the USA.

    It’s a ground nesting species which means the nests are hard to find unless you step right on them.
    I’ve done that before too many times with other species of ground nesters.
    It’s not fun.

  4. microraptor says

    Giant Hornets getting established in North America would be catastrophic for our honey bees.

  5. Trickster Goddess says

    That’s only a few miles from my house. I’ve never seen one of those, but I’m certainly going to keep my eyes pealed now. They look so cool!

  6. Artor says

    I’ve seen one of those! It was on my property when I lived in the Coast Range west of Eugene. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I remember the distinct shiny black thorax and short, meaty legs. And it was big, maybe 2″ from leg tip to leg tip. (And those are short legs remember, with a fat body.)

  7. jack16 says

    Can’t beekeepers build hives that will keep the hornets out? The hornets are so much larger that a metal screen ought to keep them from getting into the hive.

  8. davidc1 says

    Another BBB Spider ,looked at the photos ,didn’t scream or nuffin .
    About them Giant Hornets ,are thems the ones that Japanese Honey Bees all cover with their bodies so that the Hornet is roasted alive from the heat .I did read that European Honey Bees haven’t learned that trick yet .

  9. davidc1 says

    The above is a bit of film about them Hornets getting roasted ,i know it is from Nat Geo ,don’t think they mention jebus though .

  10. sinned34 says

    I did some hurried checking to see if they’re in the Okanagan. It’s bad enough to discover Black Widows nesting less than a meter away from my goalie equipment in the garage. Now we may have “tarantuloids” here, too?