Ravine Trapdoor Spider - Cyclocosmia truncata
Rome, Floyd County, Georgia, USA
March 27, 2008
This an adult female Cyclocosmia truncata, also known by the common name of "Ravine Trapdoor Spider." This species can be incredibly difficult to find due to the superb camouflage of their burrows. I have observed that colonies of Cyclocosmia truncata tend to be focused within certain micro-habitats. They are primarily found in hilly, undisturbed woods that are far from any flood-prone bodies of water, such as rivers (They are frequently found near stream banks, however). The colony that this particular individual belongs to is centralized within a large, ravine-like depression (hence the name) located on the northeast side of a wooded hill. This depression is unique because it is unusually rocky, completely devoid of pine-trees (which are abundant everywhere else in these woods), and maintains a slightly higher moisture level and cooler temperatures than the surrounding forest, which widespread moss growth clearly attests. The trees that are present in this area consist mostly of ash, oak, and dogwood trees. The spiders burrow into fine clay at the depression's base, where the earth is as level as possible. I personally believe that the key to finding these mysterious arachnids is being able to recognize the micro-habitats that support them.
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