Q: I was digging in some mulch and this fine fellow emerged. I anesthetized it with carbon dioxide to get it to be still while I photographed its underside. After a few minutes it recovered just fine. Do you recognize it?
A: University of Georgia spider expert Lisa Ames says this is a trapdoor spider. There are many different species in Georgia in a few different families. It looks most like an Ummidia.
The spider makes a trapdoor from plant and soil materials. It’s hinged on one side with silk. The spiders wait for prey while holding the door with their legs. When insects, small spiders, or small vertebrates disturb the trip lines the spider lays out around its trapdoor, the spider leaps out of its burrow to make the capture.
It is not poisonous and is a valuable member of your landscape ecology.