Purseweb Spiders

The purseweb or atypical tarantula is a spider family consisting of 3 genera. In those genera, there are nearly 58 tarantulas who are ambush predators. Not all of them make webs, but those who do, feel the sensation of the victim through the vibration on the web or tube, and then drag the prey and devour.

Spiders Belonging to the Purseweb Family


Atypus affinis Atypus baotianmanensis Atypus baotingensis
Atypus coreanus Atypus dorsualis Atypus flexus
Atypus formosensis Atypus heterothecus Atypus javanus
Atypus jianfengensis Atypus karschi Atypus lannaianus
Atypus largosaccatus Atypus ledongensis Atypus magnus
Atypus medius Atypus minutus Atypus muralis
Atypus pedicellatus Atypus piceus Atypus quelpartensis
Atypus sacculatus Atypus seogwipoensis Atypus sinensis
Atypus snetsingeri Atypus sternosulcus Atypus suiningensis
Atypus suthepicus Atypus sutherlandi Atypus suwonensis
Atypus tibetensis Atypus wataribabaorum Atypus wii
Atypus yajuni


Calommata fulvipes Calommata megae Calommata meridionalis
Calommata namibica Calommata obesa Calommata pichoni
Calommata signata Calommata simoni Calommata sundaica
Calommata tamdaoensis Calommata tibialis Calommata transvaalica
Calommata truculent


Sphodros abboti Sphodros atlanticus Sphodros coylei
Sphodros fitchi Sphodros niger Sphodros paisano
Sphodros rufipes

Physical Description and Identification


Size: Female spiders of the Atypus genus are 0.27-0.82 in (0.6-2.0 cm) and males of the same genus are around 0.47 in (1.1 cm). Male spiders of Calommata genus are around 0.27 in (0.68 cm) and female spiders are 0.90-1.1 in (2.2-2.7 cm).

Color: Female spiders are red or dark colored and male spiders are dark or red colored.

Other Characteristic Features: Their spinnerets are long and the chelicerae are large.


Female spiders make an egg sac into which they lay eggs. The sac is usually hanged inside the burrow they live in.


Spiderlings emerge from the eggs in the summer that comes first after the eggs are laid. They stay with their mothers till the spring season. They leave afterward to live all by themselves.

The Web

Spiders of the Atypus genus make a silken tube that is partially (approx 7.8 in) buried in the ground. The rest of the tube (approx 3.4 in) lies on the ground horizontally and the spiders take retreat at the tube’s bottom. Spiders of Sphodros genus keep the tube on tree trunks. Spiders of Calommata do not make such webs or tubes.

Are Purseweb Spiders Venomous

They are not venomous, hence not dangerous, but their bite might cause allergic reactions in some.

Quick Facts

Other Names Atypical tarantulas
Distribution Atypus: Asia, North America, and Africa

Calommata: Africa and Asia

Sphodros : North America

Habitat Forests and other vegetations
Diet Insects and other spiders
Lifespan Around 7 years

Did You Know

  • The male spiders are often eaten by their female mates, especially after their mating.