Summary for Ozyptila scabricula (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
5m to 80m
The species is found mainly south-east of a line from the Wash to Dorset, but also W. Cornwall and Pembrokeshire (Skomer). The more continental climate in East Anglia may favour this species, as in Europe it is confined to northern and central regions.
Habitat and ecology
O. scabricula occurs mainly on dry, stony or sandy heathland with sparse vegetation cover, and also on coastal sand dunes in Norfolk where mobile sand formed 60% of the cover between marram tussocks. It probably has poor powers of dispersal, as it seems to occur mainly on heaths which are sparsely vegetated because of their soil characteristics rather than on recently burnt heathland. Adult males are found between March and May, and between August and October, females from April to September.
The spider is fairly common on some of the Breckland heaths, but is less frequent, and very local, on heaths in Dorset, Hampshire and Surrey. Although more recording on southern heathland is needed, there may have been a real decline.
The loss of heathland to agriculture, forestry and development.
Management and conservation
Burning is probably not beneficial for this species, although it lives in open areas. Rotational management is, however, necessary on most heathlands to maintain all seral stages of heather, but is best confined to relatively small areas at a time.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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