Some trapdoor spiders in Spain (Araña trampera) are often mistaken for the Andalucian funnel web spider.
Firstly though, the wafer trapdoor spider – Amblyocarenum walckenaeri (and the similar Ummidia picea) can be easily differentiated from the Andalucian funnel web spider by the lack of spinerets (or very short spinerets) and a rather rounded and brownish abdomen. (see above image)
UPDATE April 2022. There is some controversy surrounding the presence or not of Ummidia aedificatoria here in Spain as many believe all have been miss identified and really are Ummidia picea. (See below).
The taxonomy of this spider can be a bit confusing though it seems that the correct scientific name is Amblyocarenum walckenaeri (Lucas, 1846), it is also known as Cyrtauchenius walckenaeri so a search for either name will result in images of this Iberian endemic spider. It seems that few studies have been made on this, or other, close species and it is logical to assume there eventually will be more species and subspecies discovered in the future.
If disturbed trapdoor spiders, understandably, can be quite defensive putting themselves in an attack position with front legs raised but despite this, they are harmless to humans.
They feed on crickets, grasshoppers and other insects that they capture from their cover of their nest and an example of their hunting technique can be seen in the below video of a captive trapdoor spider. (Amblyocarenum walckenaeri)
Ummidia picea or aedificatoria?
To confuse us a bit more there is another very similar trap door spider called Ummidia picea seen in the below image.
It is believed that U aedificatoria DOES NOT exist in Spain. (See this 2010 study here: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Currently-known-distribution-of-the-genus-Ummidia-in-the-western-Mediterranean-Region_fig8_232675176)
However, over at the famous bidiversidad virtual many people are defending that very often U picea can sometimes be U aedificatoria especially in southern coastal regions of Spain: (https://www.biodiversidadvirtual.org/insectarium/Ummidia-picea-img182963.html) These identifications have not been verified and it is probable that they are wrong.
On closer inspection the adomen of U picea is almost always a light brown and white or pale marks show at the leg segments. There also may be 4 yellowish dots on the underside of the abdomen.
Oh, and, if you are in the South of Portugal then you might also find another similar species Ummidia algarve. 🙂
Oh, and, then there is the smaller Iberesia machadoi plus in 2019 a new Iberian trapdoor spider, Iberesia valdemoriana and the first records of I. brauni in the Iberian Peninsula were published.
List of trap door spider species In Iberia (Including islands)
The spider family Nemesiidae ( funnel-web trapdoor spiders) contains quite a few species. This is the accepted list for the Iberian Peninsula (Including the islands).
- Amblyocarenum walckenaeri
- Iberesia arturica
- Iberesia brauni
- Iberesia castillana
- Iberesia machadoi
- Iberesia valdemoriana
- Nemesia angustata
- Nemesia athiasi
- Nemesia bacelarae
- Nemesia bacelarae
- Nemesia berlandi
- Nemesia bristowei (Majorca)
- Nemesia crassimana
- Nemesia dorthesi
- Nemesia dubia
- Nemesia hispanica
- Nemesia ibiza (Ibiza)
- Nemesia macrocephala occidentalis
- Nemesia randa (Majorca)
- Nemesia raripila
- Nemesia santeugenia (Majorca)
- Nemesia santeulalia (Ibiza)
- Nemesia seldeni (Majorca)
- Nemesia simoni
- Nemesia uncinata
- Nemesia ungoliant
- Nemesia valenciae
Also present but in the family of Halonoproctidae (burrowing or trap door spiders)
- Ummidia algarve
- Ummidia picea
Any spider experts reading this are most welcome to help out on this article with some more specific information and images! 🙂 Comments are open and very welcome! Thanks to Cristian Pertegal for some species clarification (https://www.facebook.com/nemesidae.nemesia.7)
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