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Atypus karschi.jpg
A. karschi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Mygalomorphae
Family: Atypidae
Genus: Atypus
Latreille, 1804

A. karschi
A. muralis
A. piceus
many more, see text

29 species

Atypus [1] is a genus of mygalomorph spider, the purse web spiders. It occurs in Eurasia, with one species (A. affinis) reaching into North Africa, and one species (A. snetsingeri) in the USA. Only three of the described species occur in Europe: A. piceus, A. affinis, and A. muralis.

Peasants in the southern Carpathian Mountains used to cut up tubes built by Atypus and cover wounds with the inner lining. It reportedly facilitated healing, and even connected with the skin. This is believed to be due to antiseptic properties of spider silk (which is made of protein).[2]

Identification features[edit]

They are three-clawed, medium to large spiders with eight eyes. They have six spinnerets with the median spinneret truncated. The prolateral sides of the maxillae are elongated. The cephalic side of the cephalothorax is elevated. They have large chelicerae with long and thin fangs. The male sternum has marginal ridges.[1]



  1. ^ a b Sebastin, PA & KV Peter (eds). (2009). Spiders of India. Universities Press. ISBN 978-81-7371-641-6
  2. ^ Heimer, S. (1988). Wunderbare Welt der Spinnen. Urania. p.14