Sydney brown trapdoor spider

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Sydney brown trapdoor spider
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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Idiopidae
Genus: Misgolas
Species: M. rapax
Binomial name
Misgolas rapax
Karsch, 1878

The Sydney brown trapdoor spider (Misgolas rapax) is a spider in the family Idiopidae, found primarily around Sydney, Australia. It is usually shy and retiring and is often confused with the Sydney funnel-web spider, which is one of the most venomous spiders in the world.


Sydney brown trapdoors are medium-to-large in size, the female is around 35mm in length, while the male is usually around 20mm and of a more slimmer build. They are chocolate brown colored and the males have distinct boxing glove-shaped palps, which are the appendages at the front of the head between the first pair of legs.


Sydney brown trapdoors are usually shy and retiring, although the occasional individual will stand up and show its fangs if harassed inside its burrow. They spend most of the time in their burrows. At night, they are waiting for food in front of their burrows. Mature male Sydney brown trapdoors wander during humid weather in search of a mate. Mating takes place within the female's burrow. Usually the male escapes being eaten in order to mate with several females, before dying. The eggs are kept in the mother's burrow in a cocoon. After hatching, the spiderlings stay in the burrow for some time and eventually emerge to disperse and fend for themselves.


Sydney brown trapdoors dig an open burrow in the ground that is lined with silk. These burrows may reach 250mm in depth and around 25mm in width. Brown trapdoors are often found scattered of silk triplines around the entrance.


Often mistaken for Funnel-webs, the bites of Sydney brown trapdoors are not dangerous. Local pain and swelling may occur.


  • [1], Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
  • [2], Wildlife of Sydney
  • [3], Encyclopedia of Life
  • [4], The Journal of Arachnology
  • [5], American Arachnology (pdf-document)
  • [6], The World Spider Catalog Version 9 by Norman I. Platnick, 2008 - The American Museum of Natural History
  • Brunet, Bert. Spiderwatch : A Guide to Australian Spiders. New Holland (2008). ISBN 978-1-876334-49-9.
  • Hawkeswood, Trevor J. Spiders of Australia. Pensoft Publishers (Dec 2003). ISBN 954-642-192-8.


Sydney brown trapdoor spider (Misgolas rapax)[edit]