Summary for Thomisus onustus (Araneae)

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National Distribution

 
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Thomisus onustus with honey bee prey Copyright: Peter Harvey
Identification difficulty rating: 3
Name: Thomisus onustus
Authority: Walckenaer, 1806
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Thomisidae
National Rarity status: NS
IUCN status: LC

Records: 188
First Record: 1880
Latest Record: 2017

1992-on hectads: 20
Pre-1992 hectads: 17
Total hectads: 25

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
10m to 110m

Species text

Distribution
The species is restricted to central southern and south-east England. It is widespread in Europe, especially in the south.

Habitat and ecology
T. onustus occurs in dry or moderately wet, mainly mature, heathland, usually on flowers of Erica tetralix or E. cinerea, where it sits to ambush prey, mostly bees and large flies. Adult females can adjust their background colour to some extent in order to match that of the flower upon which they sit (Oxford & Gillespie 1998). Both sexes are adult in May and June, and females deposit their egg-sac in July spun up in flower heads of Erica.

Status
The spider is widespread in central southern England, and often abundant where found, but very local. It may have undergone a moderate decline in occupied 10 km squares post-1992.

Threats
The loss of heathland to agriculture, forestry, development and excessive burning.

Management and conservation
This species occurs mainly on mature heather, which should be maintained by rotational management to maintain the full range of seral stages of heather. Large fires are likely to be detrimental, although the young stages disperse readily and can start to colonise new areas about 5 years after fire.

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 32 records with adult season information)


Habitats

background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 41 records with habitat information)

no subhabitat data available

Structural Habitat Data (based on 7 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 30 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Thomisus onustus

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Thomisus onustus

Images

Thomisus onustus and Volucella bombylans close-up
Thomisus onustus and Volucella bombylans close-up
Thomisus onustus and Volucella bombylans
Thomisus onustus and Volucella bombylans
Thomisus onustus female
Thomisus onustus female
Thomisus onustus female with Misumena  male in wild
Thomisus onustus female with Misumena male in wild
Thomisus onustus with honey bee prey
Thomisus onustus with honey bee prey
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