Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Mystery Spider



Hi Eric,

I found this spider in the base of my house in Staten Island, NY, already dead on the floor. but, i have seen a couple of them alive through out my upper level. the spider is about a 1/2" long (including legs). Just wondering if you can identify them and if they are anything to worry about. Thanks!


Thank you for including the images with your question.

The spider in the images, albeit broken, is a "Woodlouse Hunter," Dysdera crocata .  I did a blog post about this one some time ago:


That should answer all of your questions, but bottom line is that it is not recognized by scientists as being dangerously venomous to the average, healthy human being or pet.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.