tunnel spider-my garden friend

novice_2009(zone 6b)July 9, 2009

This morning I was double digging a corner of my garden, getting ready for some fall root crops and lettuce. Getting rid of rocks, amending clay soil with humus, sand, vermicilite. I found a hole, at first I thought it was a snake hole, but at the bottom I found a HUGE spider, one I've never seen before. I covered him back up with dirt, hoping he'd stick around. I talked to my husbands's friend Larry, who owns a large farm not too far away, who told me what kind it was. He said it was a tunnel spider- and that they eat grasshoppers, crickets, etc. Well, I'm glad to have him around!! Anyone ever encounter one of these in the garden? Know anymore about them?

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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Possibly what you have is one of the "wolf spiders". People often simply make up names for many critters.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wolf spiders

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 6:56AM
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the_gurgler(DFW TX 7b Sunset 33)

Wolf spiders and lady bugs are probably the most abundant and effective beneficials in my garden.

This spring I found a wolf spider protecting an egg sac about every 3-5 sqft in my mulched areas. I was surprised at the density.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 11:25AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

novice, what did your spider look like (other than the size)? The reason I ask is that you mentioned finding this spider in a hole. Trap-door spiders (sometimes called funnel web spiders) can be found in your neck of the woods.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 2:50PM
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PaulaW(z7 MD)

Was it this guy?

We have these, but we only see them once or twice a year when the male comes out of the ground and goes looking for a mate.

Here is a link that might be useful: Purseweb Spider

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 8:34PM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

I think it's also called a funnel web spider, i've seen a lot of wolf spiders, and this was NOT one of those. It was large, black and shiny, with very large, pale pink abdomen- best description i can give considering i covered him up quickly with dirt!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 3:55PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Your description is great, novice.

I'm a semi-reformed arachniphobe...this is one of the spiders that still gives me the absolute creeps. :-) Thanks for the shivers!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 5:08PM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

Lol, rhizo. Usually spiders don't bother me, when I was 18 I had a tarantula for a pet!!! I see spiders all over the place, and welcome them for their usefullness.
However, this spider was FREAKY and I myself got a few shivers after thinking what the ... is that?
Anyone else have these particular spiders around?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 10:02PM
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sudzy(5b IL)

Paulaw: thanks for excellent website link. DANG. Didn't know there were THAT many types of insects lurking in my garden. Gives me shivers! Sudzy

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 12:43AM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

Paulaw, he looked a lot like that, except abdomen was very large- maybe he was full from all the bugs!!! Yes, I believe that was it.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 5:47PM
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