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Use the Epicollect5 app to help 'Map the Spider'

Epicollect5 is an excellent free platform for Android and iOS devices that can be used to create data collection forms and build maps. Map The Spider is using it to collect data from volunteer observers on where purse-webs are seen, and where they are not. Here is the link to the Map the Spider project page at the EpiCollect5 website.


  1. Download and install EpiCollect5 on your device
  2. Load the 'map the spider' project
  3. Begin reporting your searches for and sightings of purse-webs.

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

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. Be a part of figuring out the answers, starting with a map.

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 and how purse-web spiders are distributed in the U.S.This is real science, even though it's fun!

We'll post a map here once we've started to collect some data from people like you. Thanks!

Data entry form and example observation for purse-webs seen in Chester County, PA.

map the spider data entry form map the spider sample observation