Summary for Scotophaeus blackwalli (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
1m to 400m
The species is widespread in much of England with scattered records in Wales and Scotland as far north as Kincardineshire. It is widespread in north-western and central Europe and the Palaearctic in general.
Habitat and ecology
In Britain S. blackwalli typically seems to be restricted to houses, sheds, etc. which suggests that this species has migrated northwards from warmer places. It has been found in gardens on bushes and can be fairly common on wooden fences and under bark of dead trees in urban situations in Leicestershire (J. Daws, pers. comm.). These outdoor specimens have been noted as generally much larger than those from inside houses (Crocker & Daws 1996). Certainly, in the Mediterranean region, where there are more Scotophaeus species, these are often lighter coloured and are to be found under flakes of bark on trees (particularly pines) and even in the dried stalks of reeds. In Britain one often comes across S. blackwalli at night, creeping stealthily on the walls or ceilings of a house. It may be that S. blackwalli does so, unnoticed, during daylight and that it is its dark colour and sinister movement that catches the eye when the electric light is switched on. Adults have been recorded throughout the year, but mainly in summer.
Original author of profile: J.A. Murphy
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