Fun Trapdoor Spider Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Trapdoor Spider Facts For Kids

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Trapdoor spider is a name given to a variety of tropical spiders that make their homes underground. Their name originates from the cork-like trapdoor that they build their nest under. Trapdoor spiders are often confused with the bigger and more dangerous funnel-web spiders. However, unlike the funnel-web spider, trapdoor spiders have brown mottled markings. Trapdoor spiders are close relatives of tarantulas but are smaller and less hairy. Their body is thinly covered in hair and they have eight eyes, a pair in the middle with three located on each side.

Trapdoor spiders lead a sedentary life and have slow metabolisms. It is very difficult for mature trapdoor spiders to rebuild their burrows or relocate so as a result, they rarely leave their underground nests. Females of the species are known for rarely leaving their burrows. Females are also larger and are harder to identify.

The underground burrows created by trapdoor spiders are very difficult to spot because of the soil and plant material that covers them. Trapdoor spiders are nocturnal creatures. Keep reading to discover more great trapdoor spider facts, and if you like this article, why not check out more facts on the yellow sac spider and the orb-weaver spider?

Fun Trapdoor Spider Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Crickets, beetles, moths, grasshoppers and other insects

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

Up to 300 eggs

How much do they weigh?

0.0624-0.286 lb ( 0.028349-0.13 kg)

How long are they?

0.98-1.57 in (2.5-4 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Yellowish, reddish, brown, and black

Skin Type

Thinly covered with hair

What were their main threats?

Birds, Parasitic Wasps, Centipedes, Scorpions, And Flies

What is their conservation status?

Not Extinct

Where you'll find them?

Underground Burrows, Silk-lined


Africa, Japan, South America, Australia, North America, Asia




A variety of genera including Misgolas and Ummidia




A variety of families, including Ctenizidae, Migidae, Idiopidae, and Cyrtaucheniidae

Trapdoor Spider Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a trapdoor spider?

A trapdoor spider is a type of spider belonging to the family Ctenizidae. Since trapdoor spider is a common name given to a variety of spiders, certain species of trapdoor spiders also belong to the families Antrodiaetidae, Actinopodidae, and Migidae (order Araneida).

What class of animal does a trapdoor spider belong to?

Trapdoor spiders are classified in the phylum Arthropoda, class Arachnida.

How many trapdoor spiders are there in the world?

Trapdoor spider is a common name attributed to a variety of underground nesting spiders that burrow under trapdoors created from webs. As they are spread around the world and come in many varieties, their exact population cannot be determined. In Australia, scientists have reported that the population of spiders is experiencing a concerning decline.

Where does a trapdoor spider live?

Trapdoor spiders are spread around the world, with new varieties of trapdoor spiders discovered in India and Australia. They are found in warmer areas, tropical climates, and forested areas. Different countries and continents including Asia (specifically Japan), North America, South America, and Africa have their own varieties of trapdoor spiders. New species of trapdoor spiders were discovered in the Indian state of Odisha in 2019 and a new group of trapdoor spiders were discovered in eastern Australia in 2020.

What is a trapdoor spider's habitat?

A trapdoor spider spends a majority of its life underground. A trapdoor is also often found in forested habitats. They often make burrows alongside creeks or rivers so that they can catch little fish. Many varieties of trapdoor spiders are adapted to drier habitats. Their underground burrows are marvels of engineering, with one or more chambers inside to hide from predators. They are covered with soil for added protection.

Who do trapdoor spiders live with?

Baby trapdoor spiders stay with their mothers for a few months after hatching. They subsequently make their own burrows.

How long does a trapdoor spider live?

Trapdoor spiders live for a long time. Their average life span is in the range of between five and 20 years. The oldest known trapdoor spider in the world was a female spider who died in Australia at 43 years of age!

How do they reproduce?

Male trapdoor spiders who have reached maturity search for a mate during periods of humid weather and mate in a female's burrow. The male trapdoor spider usually mates with several females, before dying. Female trapdoor spiders lay eggs in a sac approximately four to five months after mating. Some records have found pregnant female spiders building burrows in close proximity, likely for protection. After giving birth, the female trapdoor spider nurtures its young inside the burrow.

What is their conservation status?

The spiders are classified as Not Extinct by the IUCN.

Trapdoor Spider Fun Facts

What do trapdoor spiders look like?

Female trapdoor spiders are larger in size than males. Trapdoor spiders are yellowish-brown, reddish-brown, and black in color. They are not very big, with an average size in the range of 0.98-1.57 in (2.5-4 cm) long, and they have eight short and thick legs. Trapdoor spiders, unlike most other spiders, have six eyes instead of eight. The eyes are arranged in three groups. And unlike other spiders, the jaws of a trapdoor spider move up and down instead of side to side. Trapdoor spiders have a broad and sturdy body and strong, spined hind legs, which they use to create deep burrows for habitation.

Trapdoor spiders have a similar appearance to tarantulas but are smaller and have legs with a shiny, polished look. Their fangs and jaws are extremely strong. They have two fangs, with the fangs being pretty large. Trapdoor spiders also have a glossy polished appearance that is extremely mesmerizing. The characteristics of trapdoor spiders and their appearance may vary as there are numerous varieties spread around the world.

One fascinating fact is that some trapdoor spiders live in trees.

How cute are they?

Spiders are not usually considered cute and, while trapdoor spiders don't pose much threat to humans, their appearance can be quite off-putting, especially up close. However, for serious wildlife enthusiasts, their glossy appearance can be mesmerizing.

How do they communicate?

Trapdoor spiders live underground for most of their lives in burrows covered with a cork-like trapdoor made of soil, vegetation, and silk. The spiders use the trapdoor as camouflage and wait for their prey at the underside of the door. The prey is caught when they walk across the trip lines laid by the spider around the trapdoor. As soon as the insects or other prey comes close, the trapdoor spider jumps out to make a capture by opening the trap.

How big is a trapdoor spider?

The average trapdoor spider size is not very large. Trapdoor spiders can be around 0.98 in (2.5 cm) long on average. But, they can grow as big as 1.57 in (4 cm).

How fast can a trapdoor spider run?

Trapdoor spiders can run very fast but their exact speed is not known.

How much does a trapdoor spider weigh?

A trapdoor spider weighs around 0.0624-0.286 lb ( 0.028349-0.13 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for male and female trapdoor spiders. Male spiders are more frequently seen than females, who are bigger but remain in their burrows for the majority of their life.

What would you call a baby trapdoor spider?

A baby trapdoor spider is called a spiderling.

What do they eat?

Trapdoor spiders feed on insects, millipedes, and other spiders. Trapdoor spiders are often nocturnal and ambush their prey at nighttime. A trapdoor spider eats the prey it captures through a cleverly constructed trapdoor which the prey trips on. The entrance of a trapdoor spider’s burrow is camouflaged on one side by a silk hinged door.

How does their web work?

Unlike other spiders, trapdoor spiders do not have a web. Instead, it creates a trapdoor over its underground burrow. The burrow is around 11.8 in (30 cm) deep and 1.97 in (5 cm) wide. They build this over several years, as they have to keep adding to it as they grow bigger. This special trapdoor spider web is not easily visible to the naked eye as the entrance is camouflaged with soil and plant material. A trapdoor spider's burrow has a cork-like shape and the burrow is also woven with triplines for catching unsuspecting prey. Their burrow is in the shape of a tube with the entrance lined in silk. The silk keeps the burrow moist and the tube of the burrow has chambers and even chimneys. A trapdoor spider's burrow is also great for retreating into during hotter weather as the deep chambers are cool at the bottom.

Would they make a good pet?

Some people keep trapdoor spiders as pets. However, trapdoor spiders can be dangerous, especially the male of the species. People must ensure they have the necessary expertise before raising a pet trapdoor spider.

Did you know...

Trapdoor spiders are frequently mistaken for the more dangerous and bigger funnel-web spiders.

Lots of trapdoor spiders are found in the southwestern part of the United States. The California trapdoor spider, Chinese trapdoor spider, Malaysian trapdoor spider, and red African trapdoor spider are also well-known.

Wasps and scorpions are the trapdoor spider's biggest threat. Wasps can effectively sting and kill the trapdoor spider if it spots its burrow.

Trapdoor spiders have a special row of teeth for digging.

How many eggs does a trapdoor spider lay?

Female trapdoor spiders of the order Araneae lay their eggs inside their burrow and lay up to 300 eggs at one time.

How poisonous is a trapdoor spider?

A trapdoor spider bite is not poisonous. Trapdoor spider venom is also not toxic to humans. However, trapdoor spider bites can cause some swelling and local pain. A trapdoor spider attack is unlikely as trapdoor spiders are usually timid. Male trapdoor spiders can occasionally be aggressive and might attack if disturbed but trapdoor spiders rarely bite. These brown spiders look very similar to funnel-web spiders but have shinier bodies and specific varieties of the trapdoor spider may cause pain with their bites (for example the cork-lid trapdoor spider produces mild venom).

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including the Brazilian wandering spider, or the six-eyed sand spider.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Trapdoor spider coloring pages.

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