Summary for Diplocephalus protuberans (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
50m to 300m
Mainly restricted to northern England, especially the Pennines, with a few scattered records in Wales and southern Scotland; also recently discovered in East Sussex, North Hampshire and Somerset.
Habitat and ecology
The spider is found in wet places, among moss, grass or rushes, often near streams or on moorland. A single female was sieved from loose leaf litter in fairly deep shade on a gravel bed in the channel of the River Rother near Selborne, and a male was collected from leaf litter beside a wooded gill stream in Hastings Country Park. The streams in the Hanger woodlands of north-east Hampshire and the gill streams of Hastings and the Weald are known to have a number of other species more typical of the north and west of Britain. D. protuberans is possibly adult most of the year.
Local and never numerous. Area of occupancy limited, recorded from seven hectads since 1992 and showing a decline of 50% in hectads with spider records both before and after that date. Trend analysis of the continuing decline in area of occupancy over the period 1976 to 2005 indicates a reduction in population size of 42% over a ten year period.
Drainage of wetlands for agriculture and forestry and engineering works on riverine channels are potential threats to this species.
Management and conservation
Ensure water table is maintained in wetlands.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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