Friday, March 18, 2016

An unusual spider (part 2)

An update to the last post.  This week Rich Bradley made it down to try and video the spider, if she was in the tunnel.  We tried to coax the spider out of the hole and crossed our fingers for a pounce on the beetle we were offering.  Nothing happened as a beetle walked around the rim of the trap-door.  After realizing the spider, if present, wasn't going to attack, Rich opened the lid to see inside.  With a flashlight, he did see a spider in the tunnel, so he teased it out of the hole to see the occupant.  
Dr. Rich Bradley photographing the trap-door
Out came a female Ummidia trap-door spider.  The first female I have seen.  We photographed her from all angles and Rich put her back in the tunnel.  Maybe another day I can witness her using the trap-door as camouflage to catch prey.
Since the last post, I learned from others the occurrence of Ummidia spiders elsewhere in unglaciated Ohio.  Four other counties have records in the past few years including Ross, Perry, Vinton and Hamilton.

Female Ummidia trap door-spider
Photos of the ventral surface of the spider needed to age the spider.
Female Ummidia trap-door spider
Posted by: Mark Zloba