Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A worldwide community photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Woodlouse Spider

Dysdera sp. cf. crocata


Dysteridae; Dysterinae; Dysdera sp. cf. crocata. My spotting immediately before this dealt with my first encounter with a Woodlouse Spider: I would like to suggest that you look at it as it explains my thoughts, at that time, which can still be applied to this spider and how I arrived at my identification.


I spotted this spider clambering over a pot plant in the front yard of our house. I recognised it immediately as a spider which had irritated me slightly when I had trouble identifying it some years previously. But having struggled with an identical spider, back in 2015, I was much better prepared to deal with this one. Firstly, I had to ask myself what on earth was this little guy doing crawling on a plant when he should be in a dark dank place hunting woodlice. Then it all fell into place, my previous encounter (described in Spotting 959787701) was now paying off. So after some picture taking, I carefully moved the hefty plant pot and there it was! All the evidence I needed. On the ground, under the plant pot I saw a considerable number of woodlice scurrying around in panic, looking for a place to hide. So the spider's food supply was right there, but what was he doing up on the plant. Well, to paraphrase what is documented in Wikipedia, this spider hunts woodlice at night. He spends his days in a little tent which he makes from silk, usually in some crevice or hole. Of course, this plant pot had many ventilation and drain holes and it was early in the morning when I spotted the spider. So I may have disturbed him when he was building his shelter or when he was looking for a place to build it.


The long and the short of this spotting is that, once again, I find myself swimming against the tide of scientific protocol by placing this spider squarely in the Genus: Dysdera and suggesting that it is crocata, when I know full well that the scientific position is that, if it has not been documented as occurring in Philippines, it must be described in another way. In this case, I would imagine that this would have to be something like Unidentified Araneae, which is pretty much useless in helping anyone who is looking to identify a similar spider. I can' t call it Unidentified Dysderidae because when I look for distribution info. on Dysderidae in Wiki, I am presented with Dysderidae being broken down into the subfamilies which then list the genera. So far so good, and there in Subfamily: Dysderinae it clearly shows the Genus: Dysdera Latreille, 1804 (worldwide). Great, I have it at last. So I look at the map of the world on the same page on which every country or part thereof, which is home to the Dysderidae is painted green. It looks almost world wide, but there are vast areas excluded and that area of "non-presence" includes Philippines. So, a merry dance all around in circles, but zero progress. So I find myself compelled to commit to an identification which is not scientifically correct, but might be of use to someone else. Surely it can be agreed that Unidentified Araneae is utterly useless to an enthusiast trying to learn and make some progress. Let me finally put it this way; if you had a SPOTTING and I sent you an I.D. Suggestion "Unidentified Aeaneae, would you be happy? I think not.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID

No Comments

John B.
Spotted by
John B.

Palauig, Central Luzon, Philippines

Spotted on Nov 4, 2020
Submitted on Jun 27, 2022

Related Spottings

Kleiner Asseljäger Woodlouse Hunter Woodlouse Hunter Woodlouse Spider

Nearby Spottings

Small Branded Swift Twig Spider Straight-edged Red Parasol Brown Pansy
Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team