I was doing some long neglected yard work today and while pulling out some weeds around a dying bit of prickly pear cactus in the back yard I came upon this “little” beauty:
And here is one for scale:
OK, so it’s not a bird eating spider, the size of a dinner plate, but outside of a full blown tarantula it is the biggest spider I’ve seen in the wild around these parts (Southern California) since I was a kid. My first attempt at an identification would be a California trapdoor spider (Bothriocyrtum californicum), though it looks a little different from the pics I can find on the web and I didn’t find it associated with a trapdoor setup. It was just clinging to a bit of old prickly pear skin (an environment it was sharing with literally hundreds and hundreds of Eleodes).
Any spider guys out there that can confirm or correct my I.D.?