Observing this spider is a bit like looking back in time. Members of the family Liphistiidae—the group to which this animal belongs—retain details of anatomy that appear in fossils 300 million years old. Getting a look at this living fossil can be a challenge, though. Trapdoor spiders spend most of their time in underground burrows, emerging mainly to grab prey. They grow very slowly; mature male specimens are hard for even experts to find.
Species Range: Eastern Thailand, along the border with Laos and Cambodia
Habitat: Terrestrial; often burrows in the forest floor or on the banks of streams
Should you worry? No. Though it does have venom glands, its rarity and underground lifestyle mean you’re unlikely to meet it—or its venom.
See this species in person in the exhibition Spiders Alive! open now.