Summary for Typhochrestus simoni (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
160m to 160m
The species has been recorded in Britain only from the south slope of Y Lliwedd, Snowdonia, Caernarvonshire; Porton Down, South Wiltshire; and the south slope of Bindon Hill, Lulworth, Dorset, all since 1966. It is also known from France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and Italy.
Habitat and ecology
The Welsh site is montane Festuca-Nardus grassland at 450 - 600 m. The other sites are at low altitudes on short rabbit-grazed or lichen-rich chalk grassland. The main period of activity is probably in March and April, but both sexes have also been found in January and February and a male in November. Most continental records have suggested T. simoni to be a montane species, but the records from Lulworth and Porton Down indicate that it also occurs at low altitudes on dry exposed downland.
The spider was numerous in one area of Porton Down but there has been only one record in Britain for at least 30 years, at Portland in 2003. It is also rare in Europe.
Its chalk grassland habitat is the more severely threatened, by conversion to arable agriculture on shallow slopes and by scrub encroachment where grazing ceases on steeper slopes.
Management and conservation
Ensure that adequate levels of grazing are maintained on its chalk grassland sites.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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