Does anybody recognize this big, brown spider?

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JTh

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Does anybody recognize this big, brown spider?
« on: October 24, 2016, 07:37:51 PM »
I was digging a hole in the ground for a new plant a few days ago and I suddenly discovered this shiny beauty deep down in the soil. It didn't seem to be harmful, but since I had no idea if its bite could be harmful, I din't pick it up to study it closely, but I did get a photo from above.I (we) was/were sitting under a big bush, so I didn't have much space to move around to get it from a better angle.

My question is: does anybody recognize this spider? I wonder if it could be a so-called trapdoor spider, in the family Ctenizidae., which doesn't make nets, they are burrowing spiders. There are two species in this family Greece, Cyrtocarenum cunicularium  and C. grajum. Could it be one of tnese? It wass a female, must have been nearly four cm long, with a shiny, brown thorax and powerful, hairy legs. I found some interesting information about trapdoor spiders here: https://animalcorner.co.uk/animals/trapdoor-spider/ 

I do not consider spiders as harmful or a pest, so i preferred to place this in the section on wildlife etc.


_A214199 Spider.jpg
by Jorun Tharaldsen, on Flickr
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

Re: Does anybody recognize this big, brown spider?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2016, 03:07:43 AM »
Hi Joran

I also don't know much about spiders, but I do think you're right about it being a trapdoor spider - see below links which look very similar to your spider.  Did you see any signs of the lid or tube for the trap?  I find them very interesting, and we have come across quite a few species while birdwatching.  In Thailand we were leaning against a clay bank (waiting for a rare bird of course) and then a group of English university students arrived to study trapdoor spiders at that (very famous as it turns out) colony and pointed out about 100 "traps" in the bank.  And some friends we met in Brasil, both artists, have a very large female in their garden and showed her to us one night emerging from the trap.  She features in one of Christian's short documentary art films, "A Dance of Time".  My partner is an arachnophobe, so he finds it a little disturbing, but also fascinating.

Melissa

http://www.jorgenlissner.dk/images/Pictures/Cteniza_sauvagesi_female_JL8976_7814.jpg

http://www.jorgenlissner.dk/Ctenizidae.aspx

http://www.christianspencer.pro.br/Menu_Films.html

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JTh

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Re: Does anybody recognize this big, brown spider?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2016, 08:28:03 AM »
Thank you, Melissa, nice links! I didn't see any tube or trap lid; if I had known what this might be, I would have searched for these. Fascinating, I was actually unaware of non-spinning spiders. I am not an arachnophobe, on the contrary, I find them fascinating, probably because my mother always said we should never kill a spider, since they brought luck to the house; she was a nature-loving and wise woman.
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.