Summary for Xysticus robustus (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
18m to 160m
The species is confined to Dorset, the New Forest (Hampshire), and near Folkestone (Kent). It is widespread in western and central Europe as far north as Sweden, but has not been recorded from Ireland.
Habitat and ecology
The spider occurs in dry heathland and coastal calcareous grassland, usually in stony, sparsely vegetated areas among older, taller vegetation. Adults of both sexes are found from May to July.
This species has apparently suffered major decline in the past 20 years. Area of occupancy appears to have dropped by 90% from ten hectads prior to 1992 to just one hectad since then. Despite recent fieldwork in Dorset it is now known from just one location. However the spider may be under-recorded in the New Forest area.
The loss of heathland to agriculture, afforestation and development. There is probably little threat to its coastal sites.
Management and conservation
Maintain mixed age structure of heathland by rotational management. Grazing is probably advantageous in its grassland sites.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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