Summary for Walckenaeria stylifrons (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
The species has been recorded in Britain only from Weeting Heath, West Norfolk. Its European distribution includes Corsica, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, though most records are from the French Mediterranean coast.
Habitat and ecology
The spider was originally found in tall dense Festuca turf on sandy soil, but the two recent specimens came from traps set in short or very short grassland, in an experimental plot where one strip had previously been forage harvested and the other rotavated. The species has also been found in very short grassland behind a dune system on the Belgian coast. Both sexes have been found in March and April.
The species is only known from one site where a total of six specimens have been taken between 1963 and 1994. It appears to be a rare species throughout its European range.
Much of Breckland has been afforested with conifers or put into permanent agricultural production, and several remaining areas of heath are fast disappearing under self-sown pines.
Management and conservation
More research is needed on the spider's particular habitat preferences. However it would seem that management should prevent the loss of open grassland.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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