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spider Woodlouse Spiders

Identify It >   Spiders Section >   Woodlouse Spiders >

Scientific name:  Dysdera crocata

Size:  Head and body 10 to 15mm long

Distribution:  Found throughout the UK.  More common in the southern half of Britain

Months seen:  All year round

Habitat:  Found under logs, stones and sometimes in damp buildings. Anyplace where woodlice might be found

Food:  Woodlice and other small creatures.  One of the few spiders with fangs strong enough to pierce through the hard outer shell of woodlice - hence the name

Special features:  The woodlouse spider has a body which can vary in colour from creamy-grey to red-brown.

The legs are usually a reddish-brown or orange colour.  The abdomen has the size and appearance of a baked bean.

The jaws and fangs of woodlouse spiders are quite large in proportion to their body, and they are specially developed for catching and killing woodlice.  They have six eyes, and catch their prey by running it down at night.  During the day woodlouse spiders hide in a small silk cell beneath rocks and logs.

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