Summary for Nigma puella (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
2m to 190m
The species is restricted to south of a line from Suffolk to Glamorgan. In Essex it has an interesting distribution, apparently confined to an area near the coast where it is reasonably frequent. A similar situation occurs in Somerset and seems to apply elsewhere as well. In Europe it has been recorded from France, Germany, Ireland and Switzerland.
Habitat and ecology
The spider occurs on low broad-leaved bushes and shrubs in hedgerows and gardens, but also sometimes in scrub and open woodland. It spins a small web on the surface of leaves. Both sexes are adult in May and July. In North Essex females with egg-sacs have been found in their webs on the under-surface of leaves in September but most records have been in June and July.
The spider is very local, but may be frequent in some areas.
The excessive trimming and loss of hedgerows is likely to threaten this species. Where the species occurs on hedgerows between arable fields the spider and its potential prey are presumably threatened by spray drift from pesticides.
Management and conservation
Where possible hedgerows should be managed by traditional methods with the aim of creating variation in the hedge size, shape and species variety. Any cutting, flailing or trimming should be undertaken on a rotational basis.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References