Woodlouse spider, Dysdera crocata

Body size

Female to 15mm; male to 10mm.

Appearance

Distinctive, with prominent jaws, an absence of hairs, and a reddish carapace and legs, contrasting with a cream or grey-coloured abdomen (photo).

Habitat, range and season

In and around buildings and under debris. Emerges from hiding places on nocturnal hunting excursions; woodlice are its main prey. Originally a native of southern Europe; now introduced to Japan, N and S America, S Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Adults throughout the year.

Web

None.

First recorded in the UK

1861.

Bite reports

'Held on to top of finger, had to be knocked off; the bite was like that of a bee sting, leaving a white spot on finger.'

'Similar to a nettle sting. The pain subsided after an hour, leaving a red mark and 2 tiny puncture marks which persisted for a couple of days.'

'Suffered papular urticaria.'

'Knuckles swollen, weal patch.'

UK spider bites