Purple is not a common color you would expect to find on a spider. The Purple Tree Tarantula and the Antilles Pinktoe Tarantula. Both of these are very popular in the pet trade.
Are There Purple Spiders?
In short, yes there are purple spiders, but they are very few and far between. We have compiled a list of the eight types of purple spiders in the world.
8 Types of Purple Spiders
The eight types of purple spiders in the world include:
1. Avicularia purpurea
Scientific name: Avicularia purpurea.
Common name: purple tree tarantula, Ecuadorian purple tarantula, Ecuador purple pinktoe.
The purple tree tarantula comes from Ecuador and is often called the Ecuador purple pinktoe. They live in a variety of habits and are often encountered in agricultural areas with grazing cattle. They have also been found in the walls of buildings and spaces below the roof.
These tarantulas can grow to 13cm in leg span as adults. They are an intense purple-blue during the daylight. Their belly is velvet black with urticating hairs, which cause skin irritation if the spider throws them at you.
The purple tree tarantula is an arboreal spider that builds a nest in the tree hollows.
2. Caribena versicolor
Scientific name: Caribena versicolor.
Common name: Martinique red tree spider, Martinique pinktoe.
The Antilles pinktoe tarantula is also known as the Martinique pinktoe or Martinique red tree spider. They are docile spiders with beautiful coloration. These are tree-dwelling tarantulas that build funnel webs, where they spend the majority of their time.
Spiderlings are bright blue and as they grow their abdomen turns red, their legs green with pink tarsi and purple hairs. Males are brighter in color than females, they are also smaller.
This tarantula grows to 15cm in leg span and is a New World tarantula, which is bold, cheeky, and harmless to humans.
3. Nephilingis livida
Scientific name: Nephilingis livida.
Common name: Madagascar Hermit Spider.
The Madagascar hermit spider comes from Madagascar and the nearby Islands. The female color ranges from cream to brown, purple to blue, and usually dark brown. Females grow to 24mm in body length.
Males grow to 5mm in body length and are gray with white dots. They are common visitors to Madagascan homes. They eat pests, including mosquitoes and flies, and are considered beneficial spiders. Their mouths are too small to pierce human skin.
4. Sphodros abboti
Scientific name: Sphodros abboti.
Common name: purseweb spider.
The Purseweb spider belongs to the Atypidae family and was first described in 1835. This spider is endemic to Florida in the United States.
These black spiders have a purple back, while males have a blue abdomen, which is used to attract females. They create webs in the middle of trees.
They have large fangs and while not harmful to humans, they will give a painful bite if provoked.
5. Chrysilla volupe
The Chrysilla volupe is a jumping spider that is found in Sri Lanka, India, Bhutan, and Nepal. Males are red to orange in color with two blue stripes and golden to purple shaded legs. Females are gray with yellow legs.
These spiders can grow to 5.4mm including their legs. They are not dangerous to humans.
6. Purple-Gold Jumping Spider (Simaetha sp.)
The purple-gold jumping spider is a newly discovered species in the Sraburi Province in Thailand. These are small and wickedly fast jumping spiders and are one of the most beautiful jumping spiders.
They are only 4mm in length and have a base color of purple with golden borders. As with other jumping spiders, they are harmless to humans and are curious and fast jumpers. These spiders can jump more than four times their body size when ambushing prey or escaping predators.
7. Phormictopus sp.
This is a tarantula found in Cuba and Hispaniola with some species in Brazil and Argentina. They are large spiders growing to 73mm in body length and urticating hairs. The hairs are kicked in the direction of any threats and can cause skin irritation in humans.
Females are a metallic bronze color, while the males are gorgeous purple. They are defensive spiders with slings being skittish and fast. As they age and get bolder, they will try and flee. Don’t be surprise if you provoke them and get a bite or hairs thrown at you.
8. Crab spiders
Scientists have documented that certain crab spider species can change their color based on the flowers where they live. These spiders tend to remain in the same flowers, hanging out and stalking prey.
These spiders eat unwanted pests and pollinators and are a very important part of the food chain. Their color change is not as fast as a chameleon can take anywhere from two to twenty-one days for a full-color change to take place.
As with all other crab spiders, they are venomous. Their mouths are too small to pierce human skin, therefore they are not considered dangerous to humans.
Are Purple Spiders Poisonous?
While all spiders have venom, not all are considered medically significant in humans. The purple spiders are not dangerous to humans, though a bite can cause pain, swelling, redness, and urticating hairs on some purple tarantulas can cause significant skin irritation.
Purple Egg Sac – A New Spider Species in South Africa
A South African button/widow spider has been discovered with a scarlet exclamation mark on its back and white pattern, which has the shape of a human face. What is interesting is that these spiders lay bright purple eggs.
A team of scientists searched the area, finding more females with purple egg cases. Careful comparisons were concluded and the findings suggested a unique and new species which is unknown to humans and science.
Purple is not a common color when it comes to spiders, but the eight spiders listed above all have beautiful purple coloration. Some are popular in the pet trade for their vibrant colors, while others are easily identified in nature.
The good news is that none of the purple spiders are considered medically significant, though you should always proceed with caution when it comes to spiders, ensuring you do not provoke them.