Summary for Silometopus ambiguus (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
0m to 280m
S. ambiguus is widespread on the coasts of Britain, especially in the region from Suffolk and Essex to north Kent. A European species recorded from Ireland, France, Belgium, Denmark and Norway.
Habitat and ecology
A halobiont, being found on saltmarshes, tidal estuaries and sand-hills by the sea, in tidal litter and on mud. Adults of both sexes have been recorded from February to June and September to November, but females may occur throughout the year.
Local, but the spider may be frequent in suitable habitat. Although Bristowe (1939) had drawn attention to the uncertainty over the identity of Silometopus curtus (Simon), records of this species and of S. ambiguus (O. P.- Cambridge) were confused until Locket & Millidge (1961) suggested that there was just a single, somewhat variable, species for which they believed the name S. curtus had priority. However it was later shown by Denis (1963) that Simon's original description of S. curtus applied to a Mediterranean species which is different from the more widespread northern European species, S. ambiguus.
Sea level rise may pose a future threat to saltmarsh habitats.
Management and conservation
Ensure survival of saltmarshes through managed realignment.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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