Summary for Maso gallicus (Araneae)
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About this speciesDistribution
Apart from several records from Kent, East Sussex and isolated sites in East Devon and Cardiganshire, M. gallicus is confined to a small area in the east Midlands and the western half of East Anglia. It is sometimes found in fens, but not always so, and this would not appear to account for its limited and patchy distribution. The species is widespread but patchily distributed in western Europe, where it has been recorded from a variety of different habitats, but does not occur in Scandinavia.
Habitat and ecology
Most records are from fens and other wet places, among low vegetation and cut sedge, etc. In East Kent it has been recorded from chalk grassland at Folkestone and from shingle at Dungeness and Sandwich Bay. At two sites in Leicestershire it has been recorded from scrubby limestone grassland (J. Daws, pers. comm.) and it occurs in open woodland and grassland at Castor Hanglands in vice-county Northamptonshire. Adults have been recorded in spring and early summer with a peak of males in June and females in June and July.
The spider is fairly common at some sites.
The principle threat is probably drainage of fens and other wetland sites, although its occurrence in limestone grassland and on shingle in Kent indicates it is not entirely confined to wetlands.
Management and conservation
It is important to maintain the surface water table of fens and marshes.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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