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

Subject: Rare spider?
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
July 1, 2017 4:09 pm
Found this on my doorstep in Atanta, Georgia at night in the summer. (I moved it to a safer place where it was less likely to be noticed by a neighbor and killed).
Signature: Chris

Red Legged Purseweb Spider

Dear Chris,
We have not done any recent research on the Red Legged Purseweb Spider, but last we were aware, the species was considered endangered.  Your individual looks emaciated, and he might have benefited from a meal like a nice fat cricket.  We found this information on Animal Diversity Web:  “Red-legged purseweb spiders, although scarcely found in nature, are not listed on any conservation lists. (Reichling, et al., 2011).”  According to University of Kentucky Entomology:  “The Red-Legged Purseweb Spider (Sphodros rufipes, which may occur in Kentucky) has historically appeared on U.S. endangered species lists, but some scientists believe that it may not be a rare spider. ”  Because of your kind actions, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Massachusetts Trapdoor Spider?
Location: South Central Massachusetts
July 10, 2016 11:00 am
I would be most appreciative if you could identify the spider I found last week walking on my garage floor. I have never seen this particular spider before. Could it be a northeast trapdoor spider? I let him go without harm, I love spiders.
Signature: Thank you!

Trapdoor Spider

Black Purseweb Spider

Though this might be a Trapdoor Spider in the genus Ummidia, based on images posted to BugGuide,  the genus seems to be primarily a southern genus with sightings as far north as Maryland on BugGuide.  We believe a much closer match is a Purseweb Spider in the family Atypidae, like this individual posted to BugGuide.  The Black Purseweb Spider, Sphodros niger, pictured on BugGuide looks like a perfect match to us and you are well within the documented range of the species according to BugGuide.  The spinnerets, the silk producing organs at the tip of the abdomen, are quite distinctive, as are the impressive chelicerae.  You may enjoy the information provided in the Angelfire pdf.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Red legged purse web spider
Location: Washington, MO
June 23, 2016 12:10 pm
Found this beauty in a trash can a woodland critter had knocked over. He is in Washington, MO.
Signature: Bob the Farrier

Red Legged Purseweb Spider

Red Legged Purseweb Spider

Hi Bob the Farrier,
It always cheers us so to post new images of Red Legged Purseweb Spiders.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

!Subject:  Red Legged Purseweb Spider
Location:  Great Falls Park, Virginia
June 19, 2016 11:50 AM
Thank you for the ID! I just photographed a Red Legged Purseweb Spider today at Great Falls Park, Virginia – since it’s endangered and rare, I thought you would like to know of the sighting. Not a great photo, as it was moving fairly fast from the path to the greater safety of the grass.
Signature: Seth

Red Legged Purseweb Spider

Red Legged Purseweb Spider

Dear Seth,
We are not certain what flaws you observe in your awesome image of an endangered Red Legged Purseweb Spider, but it is the best image we have received of the species since the first submission we received 13 years ago and featured in a posting entitled Help! I’m Having Nightmares!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Red legged purse web spider
Location: North east TN
June 17, 2016 4:03 pm
I am 49 years old and this is the first time I’ve seen one of these spiders. It was walking at a very fast pace down the sidewalk, like it owned it, in the small town of Robbins, TN. I’ve lived around this area all my life, so why is this my first encounter with this species?
Signature: T. Smith

Red Legged Purseweb Spider

Red Legged Purseweb Spider

Dear T. Smith,
According to information we have read, the Red Legged Purseweb Spider is considered rare and endangered, which could explain the infrequency with which they are seen.  Sightings of males tend to be most common in June when they are out searching for a mate, hence his “very fast pace.”

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