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Spider Photos - Purse web Spider

There are two main types of spiders:
Primitive spiders (Mygalomorphs) which:
* take in air through two pairs of abdominal pouches called book-lungs
* have fangs (chelicerae) that work up and down like a pick axe
* do not hang in webs of silk, but may live in silk-lined burrows and spin egg sacs
* resemble spiders found only in the fossil record from 300 million years ago
* include the funnel-web, trapdoor, tarantulas and brush-footed spiders.

True or modern spiders (Araneomorphs) which:
* take in air through one pair of book-lungs and through tracheal tubes
* have fangs (chelicerae) that work from side-to-side like pincers
* can manipulate the silk they produce to make webs and attach themselves to the web
* include most other Australian spiders.
Here's some photos of  Purse web spiders in a by viewer. Many thanks for allowing us to use the photos sent in. All photos are copyright to their owners and may not be reproduced without permission. Please choose a section:
Unidentified Spiders 2017 Unidentified Spiders 2016 Unidentified Spiders 2015
Unidentified Spiders 2014 Unidentified Spiders 2013 Unidentified Spiders 2012
Unidentified Spiders 2011 Unidentified Spiders 2010 Unidentified Spiders 2009 (1)
Unidentified Spiders 2009 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2008 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2008 (2)
Unidentified Spiders 2007 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2007 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2007 (3)
Unidentified Spiders 2006 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2006 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2006 (3)
Unidentified Spiders 2005 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2005 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2005 (3)
Unidentified Spiders 2004 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2004 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2003
Unidentified Spiders 2002 Unidentified Spiders 2001  
Spiders in Amber Closeups Ant & Wasp Mimicking Spiders
Argiopes/St. Andrew's Cross Barn Funnel Weaving Spider Basilica  Spiders
Bird Dropping Spiders Black & Brown House Spiders Bolas Spiders
Brown Recluse Spiders Candy Stripe Spiders Common House Spider
Crab Spiders Cyclosa Conica Daddy Long Legs
Daring Jumping Spiders Dew Drop Spiders Fishing Spiders
Funnel Web (Aus) Furrow Spider Garden Orb Weavers
Ghost Spider Giant House Spider Golden Orb Weavers
Grass spiders/Funnel Weavers Ground Spiders Hacklemesh Weavers
Hobo Spiders Huntsman Spiders Jewelled Spiders
Jumping Spiders Lace Web  Spiders Ladybird Spiders
Leaf Curling Spiders Long Jawed Orb Weavers Lynx Spiders
Marbled Orb Weavers Micarathena Mouse Spiders
Mygalomorphs Net casting Spider Neoscona Semarak
Nursery Web Spiders Parson Spiders Pirate Spiders
Pseudoscorpion Purseweb Spider Red & Black Spiders
Redback Spiders Red Spotted Ant Mimic Spiders Running Crab Spiders
Scorpion Spiders Segestria Florentina Solfugids/Camel Spiders
Southern House Spiders Spider Tats Spitting Spiders
Steatoda Tailless Whip Scorpions Tarantulas
Tengellid Spiders Titiotus (Recluse look alike) Two Spined Spiders
Trapdoor Spiders Tree Trunk Spider Venusta Orchard Spiders
Wandering Spiders White Tailed Spider Widow Spiders
Wolf Spiders Woodlouse Hunters Yellow & Broad faced Sac Spiders
Zoropsis spinimana

Zygiella x-notata



The Purse-Web Spider (Atypus affinis) is a species of myglamorph. The spider lives inside a subterranean silken tube a small part of which lies on the surface of the soil. When an insect walks over the tube the spider rushes up the tube, upside down, sinks its fans into the prey, devours it and then repairs the tube.

Purse Web Spiders (Atypus) belong to the sub-order Orthognatha (Mygalomorphae) or primitive spiders and are recognised by their large fangs.

Their size varies between 10 and 15 mm. In Europe only two members of this sub-order can be found. In Australia 13%  of the spiders belong to the Mygalomorphae. Purse Web spider go back 360 million years and are very timid spiders. They are related to Tarantulas and Funnel Web spiders.

 Most of these spiders live fearful lives buried deep in holes. They react on unexpected events by cowering in fear, unable to move, or by violently plunging their pickaxe fangs.  The Purse Web spiders are named for their webs, which are purse-like, long tubes that stick out from their burrows They dig a hole, up to 50 cm deep, in the ground and line it up with silk. Above the ground the tube extends for several centimetres. The tube is covered with soil and debris and therefore difficult to spot.

Reply from Hugh: Thanks! Got similar response (below) from local zoologist at FSU. As mentioned, have seen others considerably larger marching around in the open, but I trust this guy's observations. to me That's a male Abbot's Purseweb Spider (Sphodros abboti), which is an uncommon find despite being a relatively common species. I have not personally found a male like yours but I've coerced several females out of their tubes over the past few years. If you look closely at the bases of hardwood trees in moist shady forests, you can often see their elongate tube-like webs. If you "tickle" the web with a tiny leaf or twig to mimic a crawling insect, the occupant will sometimes ascend the tube to investigate where you can then pinch the base of the web to isolate the spider. You can then gently "milk" them out of the top of the tube.

10 June, 2016:

G​len, This is probably a male version of a larger spider (presumably female?) seen on same trails area a couple years ago. This was collected in Tallahassee Florida today & still in good shape. Similar coloring to local spider-hunting wasps. Very aggressive and fast, but conspicuously jerky wasp-like movements. Metallic blues and violets. This one about 1/2 inch body, but previous sighting was at least an inch body length (which had a lot to do with why I hesitated to pick it up. This is best I can get with my cell phone, but will attempt to get close-ups with better resolution. Same area has frequent trap-door spiders walking about (blue highlights but nothing like this...which is vivid blue/violet), but this is clearly a daylight hunter/stalker. Area is frequented by several species of very large spider wasps and at least four types of "wooley ants", and this guy was very confident his disguise allowed unqualified movement in the open. Any ideas? Hugh


25 June, 2012:

Hi there!
You contacted me on FaceBook re my Spider photo's being used on Spiderzrule. I'm not sure which ones you want but I have attached a couple that you 'liked' on fb. I'd be very happy to send you more. Keep up the great work! All the best
Nik Nimbus

First 5 pics: Pursewebs - The dark Atypus affinis is the Male, the brown is female, the bluish one is a freshly moulted female.


Click for a larger view

Reply:  It is some sort of myglamorph  -  a purseweb spider probably - glen

22 June, 2012:
What spider is this???


14 August, 2010:

Hi, I live in west Volusia County (Central Florida). A couple of mornings this past June, I walked onto my front porch to a spider I had never seen before. Blue being a rare color in the animal kingdom, some zoo friends and I researched it, and came back with a male purseweb spider.. There was one the following day, and a dead one found the day after that, still with the blue abdomen, which faded to black over time. Since it was difficult finding accurate pictures, descriptions, and information on this spider, I thought you might like to have the image for your site. The picture has been slightly cropped, and lightened a little to bring up the details in the dark spider, but no coloration changes were made.. The whole spider was probably the size of a quarter, including the leg span. Sincerely, Audrey

Reply: It is some sort of a myglamorph and a male, possibly a purse web spider - glen

1 August, 2010:

Hello! You don't have to post this on your site or anything, I am just genuinely curious as to what kind of spider this is I found in my yard.. I live in southern Georgia, in a very wooded area. Thanks for your time, Katie

Click for a larger view.


31 July, 2010:
Hey Glen thanks for getting back to me. After doing some research I found that my spider strongly resembles a purse web spider. I used the first attached picture as a reference point I found on the web. The second attached picture is another I took. Can you confirm this? P.S. If you look closely at this second picture I took, you can notice small pedipalps. Also, you are more than welcome to post these pics I took on your site. Thanks, Phil
20 July, 2010:
Hello sir, can you please help me identify the attached spider? I could not find a picture on your extensive website. It was found in southeastern PA crawling across my patio. Moves very slowly. The mandibels are extremely large compared to the rest of the spider and I have never seen anything like it in this area. Thanks a lot. Phillip


10 June, 2007:
Spiderz rule~ I live in the U.S. in Western Oregon. I was digging through our dirt pile and found this spider. It was burrowed down, but not too deep (then again, I was digging through the dirt, so I could've messed it up), and (obviously) with an egg sac so I think it's female. I've found two others (don't have pictures, sorry) with bigger abdomens that are a slightly lighter color. I think it might be a burrowing wolf spider, or something in the trapdoor family. I'm sending these in a hope you can help me figure out what this is! Mostly I'm just very curious. Thanks~ Rebekkah


22 July, 2006:
Hi there. I live in Victoria BC Canada and my puppy was bitten by a spider and I am having SO many problems trying to find out what it is. I know it is harmless because he was bitten 3 days ago and is fine. But I also know that it has a painful bite because he was crying a lot when it happened. Thanks a lot! Kendra

Click for a larger view.


Reply: That is a species of purseweb spider : Sphodros rufipes. Its bite would be
quite painful, but is not considered dangerous to normal, healthy humans - Nathan Hepworth

June, 2005:
Glen,  Here are the pictures of the unknown spider.............................sorry these are not the best pictures but they might help.......I agree with you that it looks like the woodlouse spider, but I think this is something different.....I spent some time on the internet on Monday but could not find anything like it....the woodlouse was the closest thing, but this spider has a dark body...............hope these pics help. Let me know if you come up with something , Thanks,  Scott Sorrell

22 June, 2003:
Hi there. I love your spider website and I thought you may be interested in these photos I snapped of a Purse Web (Atypidae) spider I found while digging in my garden in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada. The body size of this spider is about 25 mm. Despite its terrifying appearance, it is a real coward. It is a mygalomorph, related to tarantulas and funnel web spiders.

Best regards,
Todd Johnson
North Vancouver, Canada