Slater Spider in New Zealand

Subject:  What kind of spider?
Geographic location of the bug:  Auckland, New Zealand
Date: 10/24/2021
Time: 03:57 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, appreciate if you could please identify this. Thank you, Mahesh
How you want your letter signed:  Sincerely

Slater Spider

Dear Mahesh,
This is a Sow Bug Hunter,
Dysdera crocata.  According to BugGuide, a North American insect identification site:  “Introduced to North America and widely distributed in the Nearctic. Originally from the Mediterranean area.”  According to The Spruce:  “this spider is very common throughout the U.S., primarily in the East from New England down to Georgia, then west to California. Outside the U.S., it is common in Australia, northern Europe, and England. Although it lives outside to hunt its prey, it may come indoors in the fall for shelter.”  We suspect it may have been introduced to New Zealand from Australia.  According to the Museum of New Zealand, it is called a Slater Spider and “While this spider is capable of capturing other prey, it has earned its common name because of accounts documenting its feeding on the common slater (also known as the common woodlouse), Porcellio scaber. It doesn’t build a web to capture its prey. Rather, it seizes its victim in its very large chelicerae.”  The site also indicates:  “With its large fangs, this species is capable of delivering a sharp bite. Symptoms include local swelling and pain. However, bites are rare, and only a handful of bites by this species have been recorded from New Zealand even though these spiders are very common.”

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