Summary for Centromerus cavernarum (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
80m to 195m
The species has been recorded from Hampden and Great Kimble, Buckinghamshire; Durford Heath, West Sussex; Matfield, West Kent; Blean Woods, East Kent; Maidstone, Kent; Whippendell Wood, Hertfordshire; Nettlebed, Oxfordshire; and more recently Dedmansey Wood, Bedfordshire in 1995; Buckholt Wood near Stroud, Gloucestershire in 1995; Lancaut Nature Reserve, Gloucestershire in 1998 and in Leicestershire. There are old records from unknown localities in Surrey and Cornwall, the latter record being doubtful. It is reported from most countries in north-western and central Europe, but has not been recorded from Scandinavia, the Netherlands or Ireland.
Habitat and ecology
Broad-leaved woodland. Most known sites are beech woods in south-east England, where the species is found deep amongst beech litter, or sometimes on sheet webs inside empty beechnut husks. It has also been found in oak litter, coppiced sweet chestnut litter and leaf litter in mixed woodland. Males have been found in October and females from September to March.
Occurring in six 10-km squares since 1992. The spider is possibly most frequent in the Chilterns. It is reported to be difficult to find and has never been found abundantly. However, enough beech woods have been searched unsuccessfully to establish that it is a truly rare species.
The loss of old beech woods, frequently through coniferisation.
Management and conservation
Protect ancient broad-leaved woodland from intensive forestry development.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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