Summary for Dictyna major (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
2m to 10m
There are old records from Aberlady Bay, East Lothian, from Loch Morlich, East Inverness-shire in 1893, from near Forres, Morayshire in 1910, and from the Isle of Hoy, Orkney Islands in 1897 (Stewart 1992). The only modern records are of a single male in 1991 at Barry Links in Angus and of two males in 1998 at Gruinard in West Ross. D. major has been found throughout much of northern Europe, including France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden (where it is on the Red List (Gärdenfors 2000)), Finland, and in the Balkans, Poland, Romania and possibly Hungary.
Habitat and ecology
Sandy beaches, stony loch shores. The spider has been collected by pitfall traps in marram on fore dune and on bare sand and amongst dried seaweed on the landward side of dunes by a small tidal stream. At Aberlady Bay, the males were found running over warm sand and the females were concealed with their egg cocoons in pieces of dried seaweed and withered leaves on the sand. At Loch Morlich, specimens were found on the shore at an altitude of about 320 metres. It is not unusual for coastal species to be found on loch shores. The modern records of adult males are in the period between the end of May and early June.
Although there are records from eight hectads, the spider has been recorded from just a single location since 1992. Area of occupancy has shown an apparent decline of 83% from six hectads before 1992 to just one since that date. However, few people are likely to have collected on beaches in Scotland.
The species is possibly threatened by public pressure on beaches, disturbing the strandline.
Management and conservation
The drift line should be left undisturbed, and measures taken to minimise the effect of public pressure on fragile dune system habitats.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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