Animal Species:Slater-eating Spider
The introduced Slater-eating Spider, has a strong aversion to ants, which may help to limit its distribution in Australia.
The Slater-eating Spider has a reddish upper body and legs, with a white-grey cylindrical abdomen. The fangs are quite prominent and project forward.
Female 1.4 cm; Male 1.1 cm
The Slater-eating Spider, Dysdera crocata, is thought to have been introduced into Australia from Europe and only occurs in the south-eastern part of the continent.It appears that this spider has a strong aversion to ants, which may help to limit its distribution in Australia.
The Slater-eating Spider prefers to hide in sheltered, damp, ground habitats such as those provided by logs, rocks and rubbish, and is sometimes found in urban gardens under old bricks or paving.
Feeding and Diet
The Slater-eating Spider gets its name from its liking for woodlice or slaters (Isopoda), which it grasps with its specially elongated fangs.
Other behaviours and adaptations
The Slater-eating Spider does not make a web, instead building a silken sac-like retreat in which it rests, moults and lays eggs.
The female Slater-eating Spider will seal herself into her retreat with her eggs until they hatch and the spiderlings are ready to disperse.
Danger to humans and first aid
The bite of the Slater-eating Spider is not considered dangerous but the large jaws can give a painful bite and may cause local redness and swelling.
Dr Mike Gray