Summary for Hypomma fulvum (Araneae)
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About this speciesDistribution
This species is most common in East Anglia and the extreme south-east of England including Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire, East Norfolk, East and West Suffolk, North and South Essex and East Kent, with outlying records from Staffordshire. It has also been recorded from Counties Fermanagh (Cowden et al. 1990), Armagh and Donegal in Ireland. In Europe it is widespread in a range of wet habitats from Finland south through the Netherlands and Belgium (where it appears to be quite widespread) to France and Italy and east to Germany and the former Czechoslovakia.
Habitat and ecology
H. fulvum occurs most frequently in fens and marshes, on Phragmites or in the litter beneath, sometimes in Cladium marshes. Apart from reed-beds, records collated by Duffey (1991) include specimens from sand dunes or dune slacks, wet meadows and alder carr. It has also been recorded on shingle at Dungeness, Kent (Morris & Parsons 1991). In Essex, it has mainly been collected from borrowdyke Phragmites, but also in grassland of grazing marshes, in saltmarshes and on the landward side of a sea wall in herb rich grassland. In Staffordshire, it has been taken in reed-beds and a floating bog (C. Slawson, pers. comm.). Both sexes are adult in April and May, females until September. Our data show a peak for both sexes in May. Females construct egg cocoons in flowering heads of Phragmites.
Although most common in reed-beds in eastern England, it is not restricted to such habitats. It is very local, but abundant at some sites.
The principal threat to this species is drainage of fens, marshes and other wetlands and the encroachment of scrub into open herbaceous communities.
Management and conservation
Maintaining open reed-beds and controlling the growth of scrub are important, as is maintaining a surface water table.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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