Report your sightings using the Epicollect5 app

The 'Map The Spider' project uses a simple app to help you report and track your sightings of purse-webs. It was designed using the excellent free data-collection platform Epicollect5 for Android and iOS devices. Volunteer observers answer a few questions about where they are, how long they searched and if they found webs or not. Here is the link to the Map the Spider project page at EpiCollect5.


  1. Download and install EpiCollect5 on your Android or iOS device (from Google Play Store or iTunes)
  2. Load the 'map the spider' project
  3. Begin capturing data about your searches for - and sightings of - purse-webs.
  4. Upload your observations and data to the project.

Use the app when you are outdoors to record where you looked for purse-webs. See the sample forms below. The app can capture your gps coordinates and you enter your name or alias, how long you searched, substrates examined (trees, shrubs, walls, etc.), and if you found purse-webs. You can add a photo of the habitat and a purse-web for us, too!

Sync your data with EpiCollect5. The data you record will be local to your device until you sync it with the project website. With your help we can accumlate some new records and start making a better map of where purse-web spiders are found. Science can be fun!

Looked but didn't find any purse-webs? It is just as important to report 'we looked, but found no webs' as it is to report 'we found webs!'. Experience with Atypus snetsingeri* suggests that not all likely habitats have the spiders, even when they are found in similar areas nearby. The difference may be due to soil or food or some other factor. A good map will help us figure that out.

We'll keep the map on the Home page up to date with data collected by people like you. Thanks!

'Data entry form' and example 'Observation report' - The first sighting of purse-webs in Chester County, PA, after only a 5 minute search.

map the spider data entry form map the spider sample observation
* Note: Recent DNA evidence indicates that Atypus snetsingeri is actually an introduced naturalized population of Atypus karschi from east Asia. The name 'snetsingeri' will still be used here until the official synonomy is declared in the World Spider Catalog.