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Photo#722619
Tube in unusual habitat - a field - Atypus snetsingeri

Tube in unusual habitat - a field - Atypus snetsingeri
Media, Tyler Arboretum, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, USA
March 18, 2012
Tubes of A. snetsingeri were found in a mowed field at Tyler Arboretum following the discovery of ballooning spiderlings. Purse-web spiders are almost universally associated with woodlands, so this is a very unusual habitat and also a very dense population.

Images of this individual: tag all
Tube in unusual habitat - a field - Atypus snetsingeri Markers showing density of tubes in a small patch of the field - Atypus snetsingeri Gossamer threads of ballooning Atypus snetsingeri in unusual habitat - a field - Atypus snetsingeri

Great finds!
Great additions to the guide! We have seen one Atypus male crossing the bike path in a Cook County, Illinois, Forest preserve and have been trying to figure out where to find their webs and what they might look like.

 
Sphodros?
It is much more likely that you saw a Sphodros specimen. Atypus snetsingeri is the only species in that genus in North America. I hope you are able to locate the webs. My advice is to look on the downhill side of smooth-barked trees. Good luck!

 
Sphodros - of course
temporary brain melt! Thanks.

 
no melt! could be...!
No worries! I was only 'suggesting' Sphodros based on the fact that A snetsingeri is only known from Delaware County, PA (just west of Philadelphia). It *is* possible that there are undescribed Atypus other than A snetsingeri. As you know, they are relatively secretive animals and Sphodros species appear to be similarly restricted to isolated populations. FWIW, it was named after Robert Snetsinger who was my undergrad adviser at Penn State in the early 70s, I submitted paratype material to Norm Platnick's revision of the family Atypidae in the 80s, and I've been unofficially mapping this species for >30 years in Delaware Co. I was finally coaxed into posting some pictures as I am starting a citizen science project here to 'map the spider'.

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