Summary for Agelena labyrinthica (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
0m to 673m
The species is widespread in much of southern England but more patchy in central England and coastal Wales. It is very scattered in northern England and not recorded from Scotland. It is widespread in western and central Europe as far north as southern Norway.
Habitat and ecology
This species is found in the vegetation of rough uncut grassland, uncultivated field edges and low bushes of gorse and heather where it spins a large conspicuous sheet web with a funnel retreat on or above the ground. It can occur at high densities. Juveniles often make webs in lower vegetation e.g. short grass. The spider waits at the end of the tubular retreat for prey, largely grasshoppers, to alight and become entangled on the web whereupon it rushes out and takes the prey down the tube for consumption. In late summer, the female builds a large and very elaborate chamber in the vegetation to enclose her eggs. The labyrinth of passages within its dense white walls have earned the spider her name of labyrinthica (Bristowe 1958). Adults of both sexes are found mainly in July and August, females later. Males are often found cohabiting within the retreat of a penultimate instar female, as happens in at least some other agelenids, such as Tegenaria saeva and T. gigantea.
Common in the south of England.
Author of profile: Doug Marriott and Geoff Oxford
Bristowe, W. S. 1958. World of spiders. London: Collins New Naturalist. References
Account last edited by Geoff Oxford at 14:51 on Thu 7th Jun 2018.