Summary for Hilaira frigida (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
15m to 1309m
A species restricted to Snowdonia, the Lake District, the Scottish Highlands, Dumfrieshire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Selkirkshire. This is a Holarctic spider with a circumpolar Distribution: (Platnick 1997; Goodier 1967). It is known from the mountains of Ireland, Scandinavia and Poland, but has not been recorded from the Alps.
Habitat and ecology
In Britain H. frigida is typically found beneath felsenmeer rocks on the summits of high mountains. In the far north, the species occurs at lower altitudes. In felsenmeers it favours the interface between rocks and heath rushes. It frequents drier habitats than its British congeners. Mature specimens of both sexes have been recorded between April and September, but it is probably mature throughout the year (winter recording being rare in the mountains). On Snowdon, females have been found guarding egg-sacs suspended within their webs in May.
Local, but may be common in its mountain refugia.
Recreational pressure on mountain tops has increased significantly in recent years with trampling and erosion causing damage to the fragile plant communities present.
Management and conservation
Ensure that further damage to mountain vegetation due to excessive recreational pressure is prevented.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References