trapdoor spider


variants or trap-door spider
plural trapdoor spiders or trap-door spiders
: any of various often large burrowing mygalomorph spiders (especially family Ctenizidae) that construct a tubular subterranean silk-lined nest topped with a hinged lid
Trapdoor spiders dig burrows using a spiny rake mounted on their jaws, then line the burrow and the opening with silk.Richard and Joyce Wolkomir
Tarantulas, trap-door spiders, and some other species still use their silk mainly for shelter …Richard Conniff

Illustration of trapdoor spider

Illustration of trapdoor spider
  • trap-door spider

Examples of trapdoor spider in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This species of trapdoor spider constructs a trapdoor to its burrow out of silk (and sometimes soil and nearby vegetation), popping out its head to snatch passing prey. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 31 Oct. 2023 While tarantulas wait below with their eight eyes pointed skyward, trapdoor spiders build a webbed door and fling it open when the unsuspecting prey walks by. Susanne Rust, Los Angeles Times, 12 Oct. 2023 Their bodies can grow to be about two inches long, which is considerable for trapdoor spiders. Brandon Livesay, Peoplemag, 23 Mar. 2023 Curiosities Catch up on these other intriguing stories: — A new giant species of spider may look like nightmare fuel, but the rare golden trapdoor spider recently found in Australia needs protecting, researchers say. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 25 Mar. 2023 Scientists in the Australian state of Queensland have discovered a new species of giant trapdoor spider. Brandon Livesay, Peoplemag, 23 Mar. 2023 What to know about Euoplos dignitas The trapdoor spider lives in the open woodland habitats and builds burrows in the black soils in northeast Australia. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 23 Mar. 2023 Rare and colorful, the tarantula-like creature is a type of golden trapdoor spider belonging to the genus Euoplos, which since 2017 has been the subject of an extensive research program, according to a study published March 15 in the Journal of Arachnology. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 22 Mar. 2023 Like something straight out of The Last of Us, scientists have found a parasitic fungus in Brazil that attacks trapdoor spiders, The Guardian reports. Devika Rao, The Week, 17 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'trapdoor spider.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1826, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of trapdoor spider was in 1826

Dictionary Entries Near trapdoor spider

Cite this Entry

“Trapdoor spider.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

trap-door spider

: any of various spiders that build silk-lined underground nests topped with a hinged lid
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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