Woodlouse Hunter (Dysdera crocata)
Also known as the woodlouse spider or Stiletto spider, the woodlouse hunter is a species of dysderid spider that is native to the Neartic and was introduced to North America and parts of Africa, Australia and South America. Like other members of Dysderidae the woodlouse hunter sports very large chelicerae and a large yellow-brown abdomen.
As their common name might suggest woodlouse hunters feed exclusively on woodlice, using their large chelicerae to puncture the woodlouse’s shell. During the day the spend their time in a silken nest usually located in decaying wood. At night they emerge and go on the hunt for woodlice.
Woodlouse hunters have an unusual courtship ritual which consists of the two spiders aggressively ‘wrestling’ each other, with mates risking injury from their 'opponents’ chelicerae. After this the female will lay her eggs in a silken sac and look after them.