Currently viewing the category: "Red Legged Purseweb Spider"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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

Red Legged Purseweb Spider

Red Legged Purseweb Spider

Dear James,
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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Black Purse Web Spider (Sphodros niger ?)
Location: Cherokee CO, NC
May 25, 2014 7:02 am
I suppose that it’s the breeding season for these little spiders.; I managed to find a few scurrying through the woods about the same time last year, but didn’t have a camera on hand to photograph them. Speaking of photos, I’m afraid that my camera was inadequate. The spider was constantly on the move. About every 15 seconds it would pause for a brief moment before continuing on; my camera’s autofocus wasn’t fast enough, and the pictures were taken only milliseconds after the spider began moving again.
Signature: Jacob H.

Black Purseweb Spider

Black Purseweb Spider

Dear Jacob,
Please do not make any excuses for your images, which we think are wonderful.  Though we have images on our site of the Red Legged Purseweb Spider, your images are the first we have received from the related Black Purseweb Spider.  This individual is a male, and you have most likely documented his search for a mate.  Purseweb Spiders are fascinating creatures, and more images of the Black Purseweb Spider can be found on BugGuide.

Black Purseweb Spider

Black Purseweb Spider

Black Purseweb Spider

Black Purseweb Spider

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: ★Sphodros rufipes ★
Location: Manorville NY
July 4, 2013 3:19 pm
Hey… I live on Long Island NY.. And spotted this guy on my property… I never saw one before so I took a picture and left it alone… I looked it up and it seems to be an interesting spider so I’m just sharing… I think its a pretty good picture…
Signature: Annette Ray

Red Legged Purseweb Spider

Red Legged Purseweb Spider

Hi Annette,
Thank you so much for sending us your photo of a Red Legged Purseweb Spider,
Sphodros rufipes.  Ever since we first learned about the Red Legged Purseweb Spider in 2003 and we discovered them to be an endangered species, we have been a champion for their preservation.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: RedLegged Purse web spider
Website: Whats’ that bug
June 12, 2013 8:11 pm
This evening I captured a red legged web purse spider , he is now in a jar
Signature: Sissy

Dear Sissy,
We wish you would photograph your Red Legged Purse Web Spider and send us a photo.  Then we wish you would release him where you found him so he can procreate.  Encounters with Red Legged Purseweb Spiders have been known to give folks nightmares.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What’s this bug, please?
Location: Central Virginia
September 18, 2011 4:22 pm
Looked and could not find this one id’d anywhere. Any idea what it might be?
Signature: Kkildea

Red Legged Purseweb Spider

Dear Kkildea,
Your photo has really brightened our day.  This is a male Red Legged Purseweb Spider,
Sphodros rufipes, and only the males have the signature red legs.  Females rarely leave their pursewebs, and the males wander about in search of a mate.  When we first ran a post on this species in 2003, we reported that they were considered rare and possibly endangered.  Most of our reports come in June, so this September sighting is unusual.  Purseweb Spiders are primitive spiders related to Tarantulas and Trapdoor Spiders, and they are not considered to be dangerous to humans. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

purseweb spider found july 2008 on Block Island RI
i found this spider on BI while walking my dog about 1 full inch long thought i would pass on the info

Thanks for the info as well as the high resolution image with plenty of surrounding habitat, which we cropped to a tight shot. We enjoy getting reports about this endangered, spectacular spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination