Woodlouse Hunter
( Dysdera crocata )


2010-0330-EB380000-ARA00696-Dysdera_crocata[2150h38s,T,A,plant]{MDame}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Dysdera crocata
(C. L. Koch ,1838 )
Common Name:Woodlouse Hunter
Life Stage:(A) adult

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Arachnida
Order:Araneae
Family:Dysderidae
Genus:Dysdera
Taxon Code:ARA00696
ITIS/TSN:855479

LOCATION DETAILS
Location Name
Morgan Territory, Morgan Territory, Morgan Territory, Clayton
County:Contra Costa County
ECI Site#:CAEB380000
Open Space Location:Morgan Territory

RECOGNITION
Description
This spider is easily recognizable. The cephalothorax and legs are reddish and the abdomen is creamy white to light brown in color. The chelicerae are quite large, thick, and slanted far forward in a way that make them readily visible in dorsal view. The fangs are especially long. The spider has six eyes, rather than the usual eight, and they are arranged in a tiny, forward-facing an oval. Legs are relatively slender and are in proportion the to body size. Tarsi have 2 claws and "claw tufts" (a cluster of hairs that help the spider climb).
Body Length
11-15 mm (F) 9-10 mm (M)
Diversity
The only member of the family in North America.
Similar Taxa
Similar coloring to genus Trachelas
Colors
Color1: red Color2: cream

BIOLOGY
This spider is an active nocturnal hunter that does not spin a prey-catching web. It feeds most notably on isopods, but may feed on other prey in its environment. It lives beneath logs, bark, stones and ground-level debris. It spends days in a silken retreat. Courtship among these spiders is sometimes aggressive and mates risk injury from each other's large chelicerae.
Food
Isopods (pillbugs and sowbugs) are the primary prey of this spider. It has large chelicerae and fangs. Its long fangs help the spider to hold isopods while another fang may be used to pierce prey's softer underbelly. The spider is also known to take other prey in its environment.
Habitat
This spider lives close to its prey under logs and stones. When inactive it spins a silken retreat.
Importance
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.
Range
This spider was introduced to North America from its native Europe. In North America it is known to be distributed from New England to Georgia and west to California. It is now cosmopolitan in distribution.
Diversity
The only member of the family in North America.
Active Period
Mature individuals may be found at all times of the year.
Importance
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.
Development
Females lay her within her silken retreat. As many as 70 eggs are suspended from strands of silk within. Spiderlings remain with the female for a short while. The young take about 18 months to mature. 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.
Introduced_from
Europe

CREDITS
Photographer
Mike Dame
Insect Sciences Museum of California

References
Species Dysdera crocata - Woodlouse Hunter. (http://bugguide.net/node/view/3388). Accessed March 12, 2016. .
ITIS.
Steve Jacobs, Sr. Extension Associate. (http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/woodlouse-hunter) March 2002 Revised 2015
Woodlouse Hunter: Dysdera crocata. By Judy Sedbrook, Colorado Master GardenerSM , Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Denver.
Vetter, R. & Isbister, G. 2006. Verified bites by the woodlouse spider, Dysdera crocata. Toxicon 47 (2006) 826-829.
Spiders.us. (http://www.spiders.us/species/dysdera-crocata/) Cited February 16, 2015


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