Summary for Walckenaeria alticeps (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
0m to 556m
W. alticeps was separated from W. antica in 1952 but not recognised in Britain until 1983; earlier records of W. antica may include both species. It is probable that W. alticeps is mainly a northern species. It has been searched for without success in Leicestershire and Essex. In Europe it is listed for the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania.
Habitat and ecology
W. alticeps has been recorded from Sphagnum bogs overgrown with Molinia, bog myrtle and birch, and other sites with moist leaf litter and shaded Sphagnum. From limited data, it appears that adult females may be found between April and August with a peak in June and in November. Adult males have been recorded in May and November. This suggests a similar situation to W. antica, where males peak in late spring and again in the autumn.
First recognised in Britain in 1983, this species is apparently very local or scarce. It may have been under-recorded due to difficulty in reliable separation from W. antica.
Although too little is known about the exact ecological requirements of this species, drainage and drying out of bogs pose a potential threat.
Management and conservation
Protect bogs from drainage and drying out.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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