Subject: Red Legged Purse Web spider (male)
Location: Eno River State Park, NC
June 18, 2014 8:13 am
I was hiking with my son at the Eno River State Park in North Carolina. We discovered this spider crawling on the ground. It actually paused for the photo. It was bigger than a quarter.
I think I identified it as a male red legged purse web spider. It has rather large fangs.
Does it bite? Will it’s fangs pierce human skin?
I understand that they make silk funnels on a tree or rock face and then hide behind the silk wall waiting for prey. As the prey enters the funnel, the spider lunges and bites through the silk wall.
It’s quite a cool spider.
Signature: James Chamberlain
Thanks so much for sending in your image of a male Red Legged Purseweb Spider, Sphodros rufipes. The information you have is consistent with what we have read. We have not read anything regarding the bite of a Red Legged Purseweb Spider, however, the fangs do look formidable and we are guessing they might be able to bite a human, though in general, Spiders in the Infraorder Mygalomorphae, which include Tarantulas and Trapdoor Spiders, are not aggressive toward humans.