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Most modern spider families have 8 eyes. Within New Zealand however, there are three families that have 6 eyes. These are the tiny Oonopidae, the native Segestriidae and the introduced Dysderidae.

The Dysderids have one cosmopolitan species present- Dysdera crocata. This species is relatively common around its usual prey. This happens to be the garden slater (known elsewhere as the wood louse). The species has a very characteristic colouring. The cephalothorx and limbs are a striking red-orange colour, and the abdomen is cream. The chelicerae or fangs also appear to be disproportionately large, but the species is harmless.

I took a number of photos of one of these Dysderids this weekend. The setup was the Sony alpha a700, Sigma EM-140 ringlight flash, Tamron 90/2.8 macro lens with extra magnification from a 6x Raynox adapter.

#1 Getting the good side

Link to large image

#2 Dorsal view

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#3 Look, 6 eyes