Woodlouse Hunter

woodlousehunter

The woodlouse hunter Dysdera crocata was introduced from Europe and is a specialized predator on woodlice.

Identification

This robust looking spider has a redish cephalothorax and a light grey abdomen. Their chelicerae are disproportionately large. Adult spiders are about one half inch long.

Biology

This spider is a higly specialized predator of woodlice in Europe and in the United States. In the fall and winter this spider may move indoors in search of woodlice and in search of a dark corner to pass the winter. This spider builds a simple silken tube and nests under logs in warm places. They hunt exclusively woodlice at night. They can bite if handled and the bite can hurt.

Control

Sticky insect survey traps are a good method of capturing these spiders as they search around for prey. They often enter homes where compost and leaf litter is close to the house and door sweeps are not tight.

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