Dysdera crocata
(Woodlouse Hunter)

Featured spider picture The spider species Dysdera crocata, commonly known as Woodlouse Hunter, belongs to the genus Dysdera, in the family Dysderidae. Dysdera crocata spiders have been sighted 90 times by contributing members. Based on collected data, the geographic range for Dysdera crocata includes 5 countries and 24 states in the United States. Dysdera crocata is most often sighted indoors, and during the month of May.

Taxonomic Hierarchy

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Suborder: Araneomorphae
  • Family: Dysderidae
  • Genus: Dysdera
  • Species: Dysdera crocata

Other Common Names

Dysderid Spider, Woodlouse Hunter, Woodlouse Spider, Sowbug Killer, Slater Spider, Pillbug Hunter, Orange Spider, Cell Spider, Long-fanged Ground Spider

Author

Carl Ludwig Koch, 1838

Primary Colors


Sightings Overview

There have been 90 confirmed sightings of Dysdera crocata (Woodlouse Hunter), with the most recent sighting submitted on June 8, 2018 by Spider ID member karina9696. The detailed statistics below may not utilize the complete dataset of 90 sightings because of certain Dysdera crocata sightings reporting incomplete data.

  • Web: 7% of the time, Dysdera crocata spiders are sighted in a spider web (Sample size: 72)
  • Sex: 14 female and 10 male.
  • Environment: Dysdera crocata has been sighted 29 times outdoors, and 49 times indoors.
  • Outdoors: Man-made structure (11). Low foliage (2). Ground layer (7). Under rock or debris (9).

Location and Range

Dysdera crocata (Woodlouse Hunter) has been sighted in the following countries: Canada, Mexico, Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States.

Dysdera crocata has also been sighted in the following states: Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin.

Seasonality

Dysdera crocata has been primarily sighted during the month of May.

  • January: 7
  • February: 10
  • March: 7
  • April: 22
  • May: 28
  • June: 5
  • July: 1
  • August:
  • September:
  • October:
  • November:
  • December:

Additional Remarks

  • Because of similar coloration, this spider can be mistaken for the “Broad-faced Sac Spider” (Trachelas tranquillus) and related species in that genus. Dysdera have 6 eyes while Trachelas have 8; the large fangs of Dysdera also help distinguish it.
  • Egg sac may contain around 70 eggs, and is guarded by the female inside her silken retreat.
  • Individuals make take about 18 months to mature, then survive an additional year or two on average.
  • Prey seems to be preferentially terrestrial isopod crustaceans known as woodlice (aka “sowbugs” and “pillbugs”), but any other arthropods it can catch are fair game. The long fangs help the spider to maintain a scissor-like grip on woodlice, while typically using only one fang to pierce the prey’s softer underbelly.

Featured Pictures

Picture of Dysdera crocata (Woodlouse Hunter) - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Dysdera crocata (Woodlouse Hunter) - Male - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Dysdera crocata (Woodlouse Hunter) - Lateral Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Dysdera crocata (Woodlouse Hunter) - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Dysdera crocata (Woodlouse Hunter) - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Dysdera crocata (Woodlouse Hunter) - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Dysdera crocata (Woodlouse Hunter) - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
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Picture of Dysdera crocata (Woodlouse Hunter) - Dorsal Enlarge Picture
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