A Langford woman spotted a rare spider while walking around Langford’s fire hall on Peatt Rd. The Royal BC Museum identified it as a Pacific Folding Door spider, a non-venomous species related to tarantulas that is native to Vancouver Island. (Courtesy of Krysten Leigh)

Rare spider sneaks out of hiding in Langford

Pacific folding door spiders are native to Vancouver Island, non-venemous

With eight eyes staring up at her, a spider stretched out on the sidewalk stopped Krysten Leigh in her tracks. Leigh was walking her dog in Langford on April 24 when she noticed the eight-legged critter out of the corner of her eye.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” she said. “I thought it had to be fake ‘cause I’d never something that big.”

Leigh was staring at a Pacific folding door spider, also known as Antrodiaetus pacificus. It wasn’t moving, but had its legs outstretched on the pavement outside Langford’s fire hall on Peatt Road.

She quickly pulled her dog behind her as she grabbed a photo and started circulating it to local pest control agencies – who couldn’t give her an exact answer on its origin.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Man charged after scorpions, spiders and more seized from B.C. home

“This was quite an unusual find,” said Royal BC Museum entomology collections manager Claudia Copley, who knew exacly what it was. “These spiders are rare to see because even though they’re native to Vancouver Island, they usually stay in their burrows underneath lawns and in old growth forests most of their lives.”

They’re called folding door spiders because they use a door made from silk and dirt to surprise prey. They usually grow to about five centimetres or just about two inches. They’re related to tarantulas and some females can live up to 20 years.

ALSO READ: Police will no longer be responsible to Saanich dead animals

What makes it more unusual is that this one was a female, as apparent with its bigger abdomen.

Notably, males come out of hiding during mating season in the fall. Copley believes something disturbed the spider’s burrow, perhaps a sprinkler that flooded the home or someone dug it up accidently.

“They pose no danger to us because they aren’t venomous,” said Copley. “They eat pests like earwigs, [insects and smaller spiders]. To be honest, they’re pretty impressive.”


@iaaronguillen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

City of Langford

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The 21st annual Japanese Cultural Fair streams online Oct. 24 from noon to 3 p.m. (Facebook/Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society)
Esquimalt’s Japanese Cultural Fair takes tastes, experiences and cultures online

21st annual free event streams Saturday, Oct. 24 starting at noon

Const. Graham Walker of the Saanich Traffic Safety Unit recreates an incident involving a driver who police say attempted to film the scene of a crash while driving up Highway 17. (Saanich Police/Twitter)
Police track down driver caught filming accident scene on Pat Bay Highway

Driver issued $368 ticket, points on their licence

Sooke man Rik Downer spent two weeks in the Royal Jubilee Hospital after contracting flesh-eating bacteria. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Sooke man’s bumped knee leads to fight for life

Man unknowingly contracts case of rare flesh-eating disease

Victoria High School. (Black Press Media file photo)
Alumni Association abandons plans for eight-lane track at Vic High

SD61 spokesperson says easement, which makes 8-lane track impossible, left out of consultation

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

Most Read