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.