What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Sphodros rufpes
My 7 year old son, and my wife found a great specimen of a Red-legged Purse Spider in our neighborhood here in Mt Juliet, TN. It is a text-book example. I noted on your site that this spider has been found in only 4 locations in Tennesee. I am wondering if Mt Juliet or the Nashville vicinity is one of those areas. Here is the photo of the little critter. He was found next to a scrub at my neighbors front door. I had my 7 year old son put him back and took opportunity to explain about extinction and endangerment….a nice life lesson !! I’ll bug off for now. Hope the photo is helpful.
Bruce, Nathan, and Kathi McLaughlin
Mt Juliet, TN

Hi Bruce,
Your photo is just beautiful. We have been getting many letters regarding this species lately which we originally identified under the scientific name Sphodros rufipes. We have found information in old texts under the scientific name Atypus bicolor. It might be rare and endangered or it might not, depending upon the source. At any rate, it is an awesome spider and your photo is great as well. We have actually devoted an entire page to the Red Legged Purseweb Spider thanks to your letter and image. We have read that June is the month when males leave their webs and search for a June bride.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

2 Responses to Purseweb Spider sited in Tennessee

  1. Kim says:

    I’m just reading this post, 12 yrs later, but wanted to respond. I live in Antioch, Tn and found one of these interesting creatures in my main-floor bathroom! I hate to kill anything, but unfortunately, not knowing what it was and because I don’t do well with spiders (especially in my house), I took direct measures to dispose of it. Later, I was so intrigued that I looked it up and then found that it is supposedly endangered. Yes, I felt bad at that point, but wondered, if it was so endangered how in the world did it make its way into my bathroom? Anyway, I just wanted it to be known for the record that one has been spotted in Antioch, Tennessee as well. Next time I will not be so quick to kill.

  2. Angela says:

    I have never seen this spider in my life until tonight. I live in Hermitage, TN, and found not only one, but 2 prowling around in my back yard. Of course, before I kill anything, I like to know what it is and what it eats. I have a lot of insects here, so any predatory spider is usually welcomed. Pest control is a great way for them to pay rent. 😉 But I’m glad I’m not the only one to have seen these. Thanks for the post!

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