Slater-eating Spiders

Slater-eating Spiders – Dysderidae

This family only has a single species represented in Australia (Dysdera crocata) which was introduced from Europe and is common in gardens in the south-east of the continent.  This spider preys upon slaters and pillbugs – the small armoured crustaceans also common in suburban backyards.  It has large curved fangs to penetrate their segmented armour and has six eyes (as opposed to eight in many of the other families), which combined with its distinctive colour makes it quite easy to identify. It is a nocturnal wandering hunter that is usually encountered sheltering in moist areas beneath objects in the garden. 

Example Australian species

Slater-eating Spider – Dysdera crocata