These links have photos of Atypus affinis.
Atypus affinis is a living relative of the Triassic spider Friularachne rigoi. Both are in the infraorder Mygalomorphae. Atypus affinis is a member of the superfamily Atypoidea and the family Atypidae. According to Dalla Vecchia and Selden (2013), Friularachne possibly belongs in Atypoidea.
Atypus affinis is native to Europe (including Britain) and northern Africa. The European portion of its range extends into southern Sweden.
Males are 7-9 mm. long. The length of the female is 10-15 mm. The body coloration of Atypus affinis is brown or black. The carapace of this spider is square. The chelicerae are large and stout. The male's legs are longer than those of the female. The male has a thinner abdomen.
The web of Atypus affinis is like a sock. It forms a tube; part of the web lines a burrow. The rest of it lies along the surface of the ground. This top portion is disguised with particles of soil. Insects come onto the tube and Atypus affinis grabs them with its fangs. Then it drags the prey into the burrow and eats it. Atypus affinis throws the remains out of the burrow and repairs the hole. Affinis typus mostly stays in the hole. Only the young and males looking for mates wander around.
Mating takes place in the autumn. The male taps on the silk tube when he finds a burrow where a female is residing. The female lets him enter if she is receptive. They mate and live together until the male dies. The female then devours the male. The nutrients in his body provide nourishment for the developing eggs. After the female produces an egg sac, she suspends it inside the tube. The eggs hatch during the following summer. However, the offspring disperse in the spring of the next year. Atypus affinis reaches breeding maturity at 3-4 years of age.
Females of this spider species have a lifespan of 7-10 years. Males live about four years. The reference for this information is this publication:
These publications are references:
L. Bandar. 2012. "Atypus affinis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed January 25, 2012 at
M.J. Roberts (1993) The spiders of Great Britain and Ireland Part 1 - text. Harley Books, Colchester.
M.J. Roberts (1995) Spiders of Britain and northern Europe. Harper Collins Publishers Ltd., London.
Fabio M. Dalla Vecchia and Paul A. Selden. 2013. A Triassic Spider from Italy. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.