Summary for Tegenaria agrestis (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
0m to 280m
First recorded in Britain from Wilverley Plain, Hampshire in 1949, this species has colonised northwards over the last half century (Merrett 1979). It now has a wide but patchy Distribution: through much of England and Wales, and is colonising Scotland (e.g. Stewart 1987). Elsewhere in Europe it is widespread, extending into Russia, Ukraine and Kirghizia (Maurer 1992). T. agrestis was introduced into the Pacific North-west region of the United States in the early 1900s.
Habitat and ecology
T. agrestis in Britain is usually found among sparse grassy vegetation and under stones, particularly on waste ground (e.g. in the centre of cities) and alongside railway tracks. The sheet web extends from the retreat and is supported by vegetation. The egg-sac is a multi-layered structure, one layer of which is often composed of mud and other debris. Although not normally a house spider in Europe, this habitat is mentioned by De Blauwe & Baert (1981) for the species in Belgium and it has occurred regularly in a house in Bedfordshire (I. Dawson, pers. comm.). In North America, T. agrestis is very much associated with houses and their environs, commonly frequenting wood piles, garages and spaces beneath buildings (Akre & Myhre 1991). Here a number of serious spider bites have been attributed to T. agrestis (Akre & Myhre 1991), although there are no such records from Europe. Adults of both sexes are found mainly in late summer and autumn.
A successful and colonising species.
Original author of profile: G. Oxford.
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
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