a spider has me excited
At different times over the years I have found the most incredible-looking spiders wandering about the place here. Aside from assuming they were all males by the enlarged pedipalps up front, I could never find them in my reference books except I did think they had to be a kind of trapdoor spider. A few days ago after a hard rain, I was sitting on the steps looking out at everything all freshly washed by the rain and caught sight of something reddish coming along the ground parallel to the house. I almost dismissed it as a large woodroach but something about its gait said no, so I got up and intercepted my mystery creature. TO my surprise it was the largest one of these woerd spiders yet, another male. Its legs were completely crimson colored and its head/cephalothorax were totally a rich jet-black. It had a fearsome look to it, reminding one of the heavy-set build of a desert tarantula or perhaps a fuly mature wolf spider, although this spider has a glossy, hairless look to it. I decided it was time that I gave these beautiful but unknown spiders a minute of my time and trotted in to get one of the usual holding jars I keep around for such special occasions.
The best I can tell, this was a male Sphodros rufipes, or purseweb spider (did I get that correct??) the more I read, the more fascinated I got. THe males, oddly enough, are indeed commonly spotted wandering around on the ground after a rain in search of females. That made sense! But then I read on that these are endangered wherever they are found, and I think the web sources mentioned lots of the southern states but never Illinois. More unanswered questions!!
Here is one link to a good series of photos/info on my little darling.
(I hope the link thing works....you all will be hating me if I don't get the hang of this soon)
Now I will have to get busy and search out the females!!
Here is a link that might be useful: www.whatsthatbug.com/red_legged_purseweb_spider.html