Summary for Philodromus histrio (Araneae)

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National Distribution

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Philodromus histrio heathland form Copyright: Peter Harvey
Identification difficulty rating: 3
Name: Philodromus histrio
Authority: (Latreille, 1819)
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Philodromidae
National Rarity status: NS
IUCN status: LC

Records: 365
First Record: 1872
Latest Record: 2018

1992-on hectads: 38
Pre-1992 hectads: 62
Total hectads: 77

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
0m to 673m

Species text

Found in Britain as far north as central Scotland. It is widespread in western and central Europe, but has not been recorded from Ireland.

Habitat and ecology
P. histrio usually occurs on heather in heathland, where the female encloses her egg-sac in silk and bits of dried heather. The spider, whose red-brown colour and whitish markings provide excellent camouflage against the background, may be found guarding her egg-sac. There is a most interesting variety found on saltmarsh in Essex (where the heathland form has not been recorded) in which the spider has the reddish-brown replaced by the bluish-green colour of Sea Purslane Atriplex portulacoides. Adults of both sexes occur mainly in May and June.

Generally rare and very local, but the spider may be frequent on some heathlands. It shows a long-term trend of decline and seems to have largely disappeared from northern and western Britain. Trend analysis of the continuing decline in area of occupancy over the period 1976 to 2005 indicates a reduction in population size of 48% over a ten year period.

The loss of heathland to forestation and development, and possibly loss of saltmarshes as a consequence of rising sea levels.

Management and conservation
Ensure that there is no further loss of heathland to other land uses.

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 65 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 94 records with habitat information)

Broad subhabitat Data (based on 3 records with subhabitat information)

Structural Habitat Data (based on 23 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 62 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Philodromus histrio

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Philodromus histrio


P. histrio possibly subadult
P. histrio possibly subadult
Philodromus histrio Essex saltmarsh form
Philodromus histrio Essex saltmarsh form
Philodromus histrio heathland form
Philodromus histrio heathland form
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