I love when animals, creatures, and insects are named for obvious reasons, like the Redheaded Woodpecker, the White-Tailed Deer, or in this case, the Trapdoor Spider.
It’s pretty clear why these arachnids are given the nickname “Trapdoor”: A lot of these 8-legged-killers build their homes to have a secret trapdoor that allows for them to easily catch unsuspecting prey.
Most of these spiders are found in Australia (thank goodness) and set up these traps and simply wait out for their meals. They most often feed on insects that walk or fly near their burrows, such as crickets, moths, beetles, and in this case, this poor grasshopper.
The video shows the grasshopper mindlessly walking along in the dirt when, all of the sudden, the “dirt” begins to move. The spider sits below its camouflage and carefully waits until the time is right to strike.
The grasshopper stops right in front of the burrow entrance and the tension is similar to that of modern day horror movies. You even have a brief moment of hope for the grasshopper as it walks away from the “trapdoor,” but that is exactly what the spider wanted you to think.
The massive, scary-looking spider bursts out of its burrow and punctures the grasshopper with its front legs, then slowly pulls it back down into its hole. I think there’s enough here for the video to be considered a “jump scare,” because the whole thing is terrifying.
If you’ve seen the horror movie IT, the attack gives off crazy “you’ll float too” vibes. If the scary movie industry wanted to make this trapdoor spider the size of a human being and release a two hour movie of attacks like this, I have a feeling the movie would be 1) incredibly scary and 2) well received. Although it probably wouldn’t perform well in the “arachnophobia” demographic.
Sometimes nothing is more frightening the brutality of nature. Watch this Trapdoor Spider play this grasshopper like a fiddle (if you dare):