Slater spider Dysdera crocata, copyright Whitney Cranshaw.

Belongs within: Basalhaplogynae.

The Dysderidae is a western Palaearctic family of free-living spiders with large chelicerae, some of which have a predilection for hunting woodlice. One such species, the slater spider Dysdera crocata, has a global distribution in association with humans. Dysderids are free-wandering hunters at night, spending daylight hours in a silken retreat (Jocqué & Dippenaar-Schoeman 2007).

Characters (from Jocqué & Dippenaar-Schoeman 2007): Medium-sized; six eyes present in compact group near clypeal edge; chelicerae and fangs well-developed; sternum joined to carapace by intercoxal sclerites; legs with two or three tarsal claws; distinct pair of tracheal spiracles posterior to booklung slits; ecribellate; haplogyne.

    |--Rhodinae JD-S07
    |--Harpactea SL14 [Harpacteinae JD-S07]
    |    |--H. extinctus Petrunkevitch 1950 S93
    |    |--H. hombergi (Scopoli 1763) VPB11 [=Aranea hombergii C01, Dysdera hombergii C01]
    |    |--H. lepida (Koch 1838) SL14
    |    `--H. sadistica W19
    `--Dysdera Latreille 1804 PVD10 [Dysderinae JD-S07]
         |--*D. erythrina (Walckenaer 1802) C01, VPB11 [=Aranea erythryna C01, Segestria (Dystera) erythrina G20]
         |--D. angustata Lucas 1846 E12
         |--D. crocata Koch 1838 PVD10 [incl. D. interrita S99, D. rubicunda S99]
         |--D. glabrata Menge 1854 S93
         |--D. hippopodium Menge 1854 S93
         |--D. hungarica FF99
         |--D. ninaii Canestrini 1868 K55
         |--D. nubila Simon 1882 K55
         |--D. scobiculata Menge 1854 S93
         |--D. spinipes Lucas 1846 E12
         |--D. tersa Koch & Berendt 1854 S93
         `--D. westringi Pickard-Cambridge 1872 PO08

Dysderidae incertae sedis:
  Stalagtia hercegovinensis PN02
  Tedia PO08
    |--T. abdominalis Deeleman-Reinhold 1988 PO08
    `--T. oxygnatha Simon 1882 PO08
  Harpactocrates K55
    |--H. ignavus Kraus 1955 K55
    |--H. limbarae Kraus 1955 K55
    `--H. teruelis Kraus 1955 K55
  Dasumia subita Petrunkevitch 1940 S93
  Thereola petiolata Koch & Berendt 1854 S93
  Mistura perplexa Petrunkevitch 1971 P92

*Type species of generic name indicated


[C01] Cambridge, F. O. P. 1901. A revision of the genera of the Araneae or spiders with reference to their type species. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, series 7, 7: 51–65.

[E12] Evenhuis, N. L. 2012. Publication and dating of the Exploration Scientifique de l'Algérie: Histoire Naturelle des Animaux Articulés (1846–1849) by Pierre Hippolyte Lucas. Zootaxa 3448: 1–61.

[FF99] Forster, R., & L. Forster. 1999. Spiders of New Zealand and their World-wide Kin. University of Otago Press: Dunedin (New Zealand).

[G20] Goldfuss, G. A. 1820. Handbuch der Naturgeschichte vol. 3. Handbuch der Zoologie pt 1. Johann Leonhard Schrag: Nürnberg.

[JD-S07] Jocqué, R., & A. S. Dippenaar-Schoeman. 2007. Spider Families of the World. Royal Museum for Central Africa: Tervuren (Belgium).

[K55] Kraus, O. 1955. Spinnen von Korsika, Sardinien und Elba (Arach., Araneae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 36: 371–394.

[PVD10] Paquin, P., C. J. Vink & N. Dupérré. 2010. Spiders of New Zealand: annotated family key and species list. Manaaki Whenua Press: Lincoln (New Zealand).

[PO08] Pluess, T., I. Opatovsky, E. Gavish-Regev, Y. Lubin & M. H. Schmidt. 2008. Spiders in wheat fields and semi-desert in the Negev (Israel). Journal of Arachnology 36 (2): 368–373.

[PN02] Poggi, R., G. Nonveiller, A. Colla, D. Pavićević & T. Rađa. 2001–2002. Thaumastocephalini, a new tribe of Pselaphinae for Thaumastocephalus folliculipalpus n. gen., n. sp., an interesting new troglobious species from central Dalmatia (Croatia) (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae, Pselaphinae). Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale “Giacomo Doria” 94: 1–20.

[P92] Poinar, G. O., Jr. 1992. Life in Amber. Stanford University Press: Stanford.

[SL14] Samu, F., G. Lengyel, É. Szita, A. Bidló & P. Ódor. 2014. The effect of forest stand characteristics on spider diversity and species composition in deciduous-coniferous mixed forests. Journal of Arachnology 42 (2): 135–141.

[S93] Selden, P. A. 1993. Arthropoda (Aglaspidida, Pycnogonida and Chelicerata). In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 297–320. Chapman & Hall: London.

[S99] Simon, E. 1899. Ergebnisse einer Reise nach dem Pacific (Schauinsland 1896–1897. Zoologische Jahrbücher, Abteilung für Systematik, Geographie un Biologie der Thiere 12 (4): 411–437.

[VPB11] Varet, M., J. Pétillon & F. Burel. 2011. Comparative responses of spider and carabid beetle assemblages along an urban-rural boundary gradient. Journal of Arachnology 39 (2): 236–243.

[W19] Wunderlich, J. 2019. What is a spider? Cretaceous fossils modify strongly phylogenetics as well as diagnoses of families, superfamilies and even suborders of spiders (Araneida) and other arthropods. Beiträge zur Araneologie 12: 1–32.

Last updated: 25 January 2022.

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