Summary for Walckenaeria incisa (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
3m to 150m
The species is widespread but very scattered and apparently absent from large areas of Britain, with most records from Yorkshire southwards. It has been recorded from north-western Europe as far north as Sweden.
Habitat and ecology
W. incisa is found at ground level in a variety of habitats, e.g. chalk grassland, heathland, pine litter, oak litter. In Leicestershire there have been records over several seasons from pitfall traps set in open ancient woodland on acid soils, with occasional records from heathland and limestone grassland (J. Daws, pers. comm.). Adult males have been collected in January, May, July, October and November, adult females in July and December, so the species may be active throughout the year.
Records are very scattered in a variety of habitats, and few specimens have ever been found, possibly suggesting its principal habitat has not been discovered. There has been an apparent decline, but the small number of records make it difficult to draw valid conclusions about any trend.
In the past, conversion of heathland and calcareous grassland to agriculture and urban development may have been a factor in the decline of this species but because it occurs in such a wide variety of habitats, the reasons for its overall decline are not at all clear.
Management and conservation
Protect remaining heathland and calcareous grassland sites from loss due to agriculture, forestry and urban development. Until more is known about the ecology and preferred habitat of this species, firm management recommendations are difficult to make.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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