Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Species Dysdera crocata - Woodlouse Hunter

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Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Chelicerata (Chelicerates)
Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Order Araneae (Spiders)
Infraorder Araneomorphae (True Spiders)
No Taxon (Haplogynes)
Family Dysderidae (Dysderids)
Genus Dysdera
Species crocata (Woodlouse Hunter)
Other Common Names
Sow Bug Hunter, Pill Bug Hunter, Stiletto spider
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Explanation of Names
The genus name originates from the 2nd century B.C. poet Nicander.
Greek adjective: 'hard to fight against'. Cameron(2005)(1)
Numbers
The only member of the family in NA.
Identification
Females


Males


Fighting pair


Eye Arrangement
Range
Introduced to North America and widely distributed in the Nearctic.(1). Originally from the Mediterranean area.
Food
Primary prey is isopods; hence the large chelicerae and fangs.
Life Cycle
This species is reported to take up to a year and half to mature, and live an additional two to three years in captivity.(1)
Remarks
A six-eyed spider.

Regarding the bite of this spider:

"Bites by the woodlouse spider, Dysdera crocata, are virtually innocuous. The main symptom is minor pain, typically lasting less than 1 hr, probably due mostly to the mechanical puncture of the skin."

- Vetter, R. & Isbister, G. 2006. Verified bites by the woodlouse spider, Dysdera crocata. Toxicon 47 (2006) 826-829.
See Also
Similar coloring to genus Trachelas
Internet References
Pub.Med. Verified bites by the woodlouse spider, Dysdera crocata. Vetter, RS, Isbister, GK.
Works Cited
1.Spiders of North America: An Identification Manual
D. Ubick, P. Paquin, P.E. Cushing and V. Roth (eds). 2005. American Arachnological Society.