Summary for Erigone psychrophila (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
800m to 1140m
The species has been recorded from Northumberland (Cheviot), Perthshire, Aberdeenshire, Inverness-shire, Ross-shire, Sutherland, Skye and Mull. The spider is apparently local, and not found on many mountains. It is a boreo-alpine species in Europe.
Habitat and ecology
A montane species, which is usually found in very damp situations, in Sphagnum at the edge of bog pools and amongst overhanging vegetation. It also occurs under stones by montane pools. Adults of both sexes are found from April to September.
Recorded in a total of twelve 10-km squares, but in only one since 1992. This is probably because of this species' specialised habitat, so the decline is more apparent than real. It may be frequent where it occurs. It might be more widespread in N.W. Highlands.
The chief immediate conservation problem on the Cairngorm mountains is their heavy use for recreation: skiing compacts the snow causing severe damage to the underlying vegetation. In the longer term climate change may prove a greater threat to this and other high-altitude species.
Management and conservation
Ensure that mountain tops where the species occurs are protected from excessive recreational pressures.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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