The Tiger Spider, Bolivia’s Own Ferocious Striped Predator

tiger spider, Linothele fallax (3)
tiger spider, Linothele fallax (2)

photo: Flickr user Oscar Mendez

tiger spider, Linothele fallax (4)

photo: user doom on arachnoboards.com

tiger spider, Linothele fallax (3)

photo: Flickr user KjStDe

Habitat: Bolivia
Status: Not Listed

This incredible species of spider is Linothele fallax, or the Tiger Spider, as I’ve decided to call it. There doesn’t seem to be any universal common name from the looks of things, so tiger spider will have to do. I think it’s appropriate given the pattern and colors that run across these medium-sized (2-3 inches for males) spider’s bodies.

Linothele fallax is a member of the Dipluroidea family which consists of Funnel-web Tarantulas. Members of this family usually build messy funnel-webs, however Linothele sp. construct silk-lined burrows instead. Generally they build their retreats in crevices in earthen banks, the bark of trees, under logs or in leaf litter. They utilize their over-sized spinnerets (silk-extruding organs) to create these elaborate traps.

While there is no proof of their toxicity to humans, it would be wise not to mess with one of these tiger spiders if you ever have an encounter in the wild. I’m sure no one reading this is thinking, hey, I want to find one and play with it!! Tigers can be deadly, so I would assume tiger spiders are no exception. They are really, really cool-looking, though!

In the video below (warning: extreme close-ups!) you can see the elongated, three-segmented posterior lateral spinnerets when the spider turns around. Not to mention it’s tiger-striped butt!