Atypidae
Purseweb Spiders

Diagnostic Features:

Very long chelicerae (over length of carapace), and endites, posterior median spinnerets stocky with a triangular tip, tergites on abdomen.

 

Family Distribution:

Found in the Neararctic, Palearctic and Old World Tropics.

 

Interesting Natural History Notes:

These spiders create burrows underground lined with silk with a bit of silk slipped out the top. This top bit of silk is normally covered in debris and when prey steps on the silk it alerts the spider waiting in the burrow who then spears the pretty with its long fangs.

 

Origin of Latin Name:

This families name is based on the Latin name Atypus that was taken to mean misshapen.

 

Genera found in the Northeastern United States:

Sphodros