Summary for Metellina merianae (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
0m to 650m
The species is widespread in much of Britain. It is widespread in western and central Europe, extending as far east as Georgia (Platnick 1998).
Habitat and ecology
This spider produces an orb web in shady, damp habitats, but is usually found concealed away from its web during the day. M. merianae can be found in boathouses, cellars, abandoned rabbit and badger burrows, hollow trees and near the entrances of caves and culverts, particularly in the vicinity of water seeps. A favoured habitat of this spider is beneath soil overhangs in a variety of habitats including woodland and moorland to over 500 m altitude above Loch Lomond in Dunbartonshire (J. Newton, pers. comm.). Specimens have also been found on bushes and rock faces within the spray zones of waterfalls. Both sexes have been recorded throughout the year, with peaks in late spring/early summer and late summer/autumn. White, spiky egg-sacs have been observed in June.
Common, perhaps especially so in the north where it may be abundant in webs across drainage channels with overhanging heather in moorland (I. Dawson, pers. comm.).
Original author of profile: R.C. Gallon
Text based on Harvey, P.R., Nellist, D.R. & Telfer, M.G. (eds) 2002. Provisional atlas of British spiders (Arachnida, Araneae), Volumes 1 & 2. Huntingdon: Biological Records Centre. References