Summary for Enoplognatha ovata sens. str. (Araneae)

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National Distribution

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Enoplognatha ovata with Harleqin Ladybird Copyright: Evan Jones
Identification difficulty rating: 3
Name: Enoplognatha ovata sens. str.
Authority: (Clerck, 1757)
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Theridiidae
IUCN status: LC

Records: 13169
First Record: 1858
Latest Record: 2020

1992-on hectads: 1362
Pre-1992 hectads: 976
Total hectads: 1670

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
-4m to 700m

Species text

E. ovata is widespread throughout the British Isles, and in continental Eurasia westwards of a line drawn from the Russian-Finnish border to the Caspian Sea. It has been introduced into North America, occurring on both the eastern and western seaboards of the northern United States and southern Canada (Oxford & Reillo 1994)

Habitat and ecology
E. ovata is a species typical of open habitats containing low broad-leaved vegetation, e.g. road verges, domestic gardens and woodland glades. It has a strictly annual life history, with males generally mature in June and females in early to mid-July. After mating, males die and females establish themselves in rolled leaves to produce and guard their (usually) single bluish egg-sac. Once the young emerge from the rolled leaf in September, the female wanders off to die, and the young descend to grass-roots level to over-winter. The species is notable for its striking, genetically determined, opisthosomal colour/pattern polymorphism. This consists of three forms; plain yellow (lineata), yellow with two dorso-lateral carmine stripes (redimita), and yellow with a solid shield of carmine on the dorsal opisthosoma (ovata) (Oxford 1983). At least the lineata and redimita forms occur in the vast majority of populations, the ovata form is more sporadic.

An extremely abundant species wherever it occurs.

Original author of profile: G. Oxford.

Text based on Harvey, P.R., Nellist, D.R. & Telfer, M.G. (eds) 2002. Provisional atlas of British spiders (Arachnida, Araneae), Volumes 1 & 2. Huntingdon: Biological Records Centre.  References

Adult Season

Adult Season Data (based on 5248 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 5599 records with habitat information)

Broad subhabitat Data (based on 629 records with subhabitat information)

Structural Habitat Data (based on 2254 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 3094 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Enoplognatha ovata sens. str.

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Enoplognatha ovata sens. str.


Enoplognatha ovata sens.str. male.
Enoplognatha ovata sens.str. male.
Enoplognatha ovata sens.str. female
Enoplognatha ovata sens.str. female
Enoplognatha ovata redimita form
Enoplognatha ovata redimita form
enoplagnatha male
enoplagnatha male
enoplagnatha female
enoplagnatha female
Enoplognatha ovata with Harleqin Ladybird
Enoplognatha ovata with Harleqin Ladybird
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