This morning, a few hours after waking up, I discovered and captured this giant black spider
on my bed. I like spiders, so although I was mightily creeped out, I did my quick "not a widow or a recluse" check, decided it was probably harmless, and released it in the back yard.
I still wasn't sure what exactly it was, so I showed the photos to some friends, who said that it was most likely some kind of Mygalomorph, which includes things like tarantulas. A bit more poking around has me convinced now that it's one of these mouse spiders
. This seems very unlikely to me, as they are usually found only in Australia and South America, but they have been spotted up here in Texas.
So, can anyone confirm the identity of this critter one way or another? I'm fine letting a tarantula roam around, but the stuff I'm reading about mouse spiders (aggressive, very toxic to humans) has me wondering if I let the little guy go a bit prematurely. Thoughts?