Name: Baltocteniza ‭(‬Baltic Cteniza‭)‬.
Phonetic: Bal-toc-ten-e-zah.
Named By: K.‭ ‬Y.‭ ‬Eskov‭ & ‬S.‭ ‬L.‭ ‬Zonstein‭ ‬-‭ ‬2000.
Classification: Arthropoda,‭ ‬Arachnida,‭ ‬Araneae,‭ ‬Opisthothelae,‭ ‬Mygalomorphae, Ctenizidae.
Species: B.‭ ‬kulickae‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Insectivore.
Size: Carapace on thorax measures‭ ‬1.13‭ ‬millimetres.‭ ‬Abdomen measures‭ ‬1.75‭ ‬millimetres long.‭ ‬Total body length including the chelicerae‭ (‬fangs‭) ‬is‭ ‬3.38‭ ‬millimetres.
Known locations: Poland‭ ‬-‭ ‬Baltic coast.
Time period: Priabonian of the Eocene.
Fossil representation: Single female preserved in amber.

       Baltocteniza is a genus of trapdoor spider known to have lived in what is now North east Europe during the Eocene.‭ ‬Trapdoor spiders are famous either for digging out burrows or lining existing crevices in rocks and trees with silk and then covering the end with a hinged‭ ‘‬trapdoor‭’ ‬made out of dirt,‭ ‬stones and bark‭ ‬bound together with more silk.‭ ‬The spider lurks behind this door with its feet resting on silk thread trip wires that run outside the burrow so that the spider can feel passing insects.‭ ‬When the spider judges that one is close enough,‭ ‬it bursts out of its hole,‭ ‬bites the insect injecting venom and then drags its prey back into the burrow,‭ ‬closing the trapdoor behind it.
       Baltocteniza is so far only known from a single but well preserved possibly sub adult female specimen.‭ ‬For this reason we can accurately measure the dimensions of the holotype individual.‭ ‬Baltocteniza has been identified as being similar to another genus of Eocene trapdoor spider called Electrocteniza,‭ ‬while also similar to the modern day genus Latouchia which lives in Asia.
       Baltic Amber is the result of tree resins solidifying during the Eocene Epoch.‭ ‬Small animals such‭ ‬as insects and spiders were preserved inside this resin when it was runny,‭ ‬and were near perfectly preserved for well over thirty million years afterwards.‭ ‬Most‭ ‬Baltic amber is small and preserved in sediments on the bottom of the‭ ‬Baltic sea,‭ ‬however because amber typically floats in salt water,‭ ‬lots of small chunks of amber are washed up on the coastlines of the Baltic sea,‭ ‬especially in countries such as Poland and Russia.

Further reading
-‭ ‬The first ctenizoid mygalomorph spiders from Eocene Baltic amber‭ (‬Araneida:‭ ‬Mygalomorphae:‭ ‬Ctenizidae‭)‬.‭ ‬Paleontological Journal‭ ‬34‭(‬Suppl‭ ‬3‭)‬:S268-S274.‭ ‬-‭ ‬K.‭ ‬Y.‭ ‬Eskov‭ & ‬S.‭ ‬L.‭ ‬Zonstein‭ ‬-‭ ‬2000.


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