Summary for Mastigusa macrophthalma (Araneae)

previous species | next species

National Distribution

 
Logged-on? click on dot to query records. Please note our
Terms of Use. Double-click on map to go to region

View time series maps for Mastigusa macrophthalma
Identification difficulty rating: 4
Name: Mastigusa macrophthalma
Authority: (Kulczynski, 1897)
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Dictynidae
National Rarity status: NR
IUCN status: VU, criteria: D2

Records: 82
First Record: 1800
Latest Record: 2013

1992-on hectads: 4
Pre-1992 hectads: 11
Total hectads: 13

Explore Regional Distribution

Please log on and add a note on this species

Missing records?

log-on to access taxon report


 
 
Please report any problems with this record:
VC error
GR error
Taxon ID suspect
Structural habitat suspect
Other problems, please explain here:


 

About this species

Recorded altitude range
45m to 100m

Species text

Distribution
There are old records for this spider dating from early in the 20th century from Oxshott and Weybridge in Surrey; from Wellington College, Berkshire; Porlock, South Somerset and Craig-yr-Eglwys, Glamorgan. From the 1970s further records have been obtained from six sites in Charnwood Forest and from Donington Park, Leicestershire and from Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire. The spider is widely distributed throughout Europe (Roberts 1995).

Habitat and ecology
The spider has a strong association with ants, often in areas of over-mature trees and dead wood. It has been found in the nests of Lasius fuliginosus (Latreille), L. umbratus (Nylander), L. brunneus (Latreille) and Formica rufa L. Occasionally, M. macrophthalma has been found away from ants, under the bark and within the hollow trunks of dead and ancient trees. As these are generally records of single specimens, breeding colonies are thought to be restricted to ants' nests and their environs. Adults of both sexes have been recorded from April through to December, suggesting the probability of year round maturity.

Status
The spider is recorded from two hectads since 1992 and it still appears to be well established in Charnwood and Sherwood Forests. Area of occupancy has declined from nine hectads before 1992 to just two since that date. However, there is little recent information on the spider's occurrence on its earlier known sites in southern England, possibly due to the lack of sufficient recent investigation of these sites for the spider. According to Wunderlich (1986) British specimens described as M. macrophthalma are large-eyed specimens of M. arietina, but this needs confirmation (see Merrett & Murphy, 2000).

Threats
The 'tidying up' of fallen limbs and branches from ancient trees poses a threat to those invertebrates associated with this habitat. In addition, the pressure resulting from increased recreational use of sites such as Charnwood and Sherwood Forests may lead to conservation problems in the future. There may be increased demand for space and more stringent health and safety requirements call for dangerous trees, which may be liable to shed branches, to be made safe or removed altogether. In Charnwood Forest, quarrying and bracken burning threaten habitats where the spider has been recorded.

Management and conservation
In Sherwood Forest Country Park the conservation value of ancient trees and dead wood habitat is recognised and incorporated into the management plan. At Donington Park, new plantings of oak and lime are designed to maintain the existence of a multi-aged woodland in coming centuries (to include the continuing presence of over-mature trees).

Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.).  References

Adult Season

Adult Season Data (based on 5 records with adult season information)


Habitats

background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 7 records with habitat information)

no subhabitat data available

Structural Habitat Data (based on 1 records with structural habitat information)

no habitat detail or method data available

Recorded management for locations with Mastigusa macrophthalma

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Mastigusa macrophthalma

Images

sorry, no pictures available for this species yet - if you have an image please log on and upload it

See also A-Z Species Index - A-Z Picture Index - previous species | next species