New Mexico: Some Spiders at the Organ Pipes

2019 March 24

The Organ Pipe Mountains are just outside of Las Cruces, and Dale took us up there on December 2, 2018.


We didn’t get up into the mountains proper, but we did spend some time hiking around in the foothills. While doing this, we found this good-sized spider (her legspan was probably about the diameter of a quarter):


She had a kind of a sheet-type web, and her eyes were all clustered together in one spot.


I think she is one of the Mygalomorphs, which is the group of spiders that includes tarantulas, purseweb spiders, and trapdoor spiders. I don’t know which one she is specifically, though. None of the ones on bugguide match her in all particulars.


We also found this fellow running around.


I say “fellow”, because he had really long pedipalps with enlarged tips, and he’s clearly a male.


I am pretty sure he is not a mygalomorph. His carapace shape is completely different, and from what I can see of his eyes they have a distribution more typically seen in normal spiders. He also isn’t a wolf spider, though (eyes are too small), so I don’t know what he is either. At any rate, he clearly had places to go and things to do, and I just got this last shot of him from behind as he scurried off.


While we were there, it suddenly started raining, one of those weird localized rains that you apparently get around mountains – once we drove out of the foothills, it was back to being dry desert again. We did see a few nice rainbows on the way out, though.


One Response
  1. October 5, 2020

    Great photos of spiders from a wonderful place. Your first subject does have a bunch of characteristics of a mygalomorph, but in fact she isn’t. This is one of the crevice weavers (Family Filistatidae). They are one of the groups of araneomorph spiders that have simple reproductive structures and are considered closer to the mygalomorphs, so your guess was close. There are at least 7 species in that region, I’m not very familiar with them so I can’t provide a species ID. The other spider looks to be one of the trachelids, this group has no “common” name, but they are sometimes called sac spiders or cuspuled spiders (Family Trachelidae). I agree an adult male, again I’m not sure of the species.

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