How to Identify a Purse Web Spider

Опубликовал Admin
12-01-2021, 10:10
Purse web spiders (Atypidae) are so named because the female weaves a silken tube where she lives to capture her prey. The unusually large and strong fangs of a purse web spider can easily spear the silk tube in order to kill insects that have strayed onto the silk casing.


  1. Know what a purse web spider is. Here are some key characteristics.
    • Physical features: 11/18” (17mm) long
    • Poisonous: No
    • Lives in: Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia
    • Eats: These are predatory spiders that hide inside their silk-woven tubes. When their prey touches on the silk, the purse web spider will bite through the silk and pull the prey inside the tube. Purse web spiders eat insects and other spiders.

Identifying a Purse Web Spider

  1. Look for a shiny, black body with no visible markings.
  2. Observe the chelicerae; it will be over-sized.
  3. Notice the legs, which are sprawling. The Latin name for this species, Atypidae, denotes the atypical appearance of the spider—when viewed from the top, the spider looks somewhat asymmetrical.

Recognizing Purse Web Spider Habitats

  1. Try to see if you can identify the tube that extends slightly above ground. It is camouflaged with dirt, sand or other debris.

Treating a Bite

  1. If you are bitten, simply wash the area with soap and water.


  • When the male purse web spider leaves the burrow, he is very slow-moving and easy to photograph.
  • Male purse web spiders typically live up to 1 year and females up to 8 years. They are preyed on by small mammals, birds and other spiders.
  • If you capture a purse web spider, you can preserve it by storing it in a jar with ethyl alcohol.


  • Although the purse web is not poisonous, its bite could cause severe symptoms to those who are sensitive to spider bites.
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