Last weekend I was fortunate enough to stumble upon one of the Mygalomorph spiders native to Oregon. (For those not in the know, Mygalomorphs are the more "primitive" spiders that include tarantulas and are seldom encountered in temperate climes.)
I knew that at least several species of Antrodiaetus were found in Oregon, but I had heard they were almost impossible to find because the entrances to their burrows are so well-camouflaged. I found this one by pure dumb luck, lifting a few random pieces of dead wood to see what was underneath.
(For more pictures, as well as larger versions, please visit my gallery. Photo credit goes to FunnyLori, camera provided courtesy of Rabscuttle.)
I brought her to a few entomologists I know to confirm the genus as well as the fact that she's a mature female. They told me that mature specimens can live up to five years and that there's a distinct possibility she's gravid. My own research confirmed the species as A. pacificus - the most convincing feature is the single tergite present on her abdomen. Females of this species have one whereas males have three.
This girl is currently housed in a mini-habitat based on suggestions made by the entomologists. I'm going to watch it for a turret (burrow entrance) and offer her prey in a couple days. With luck, I'll look in one day to see dozens of her miniatures running about searching for springtails to eat.