Summary for Xysticus acerbus (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
2m to 164m
There are scattered records in the south. The species is widespread in western and central Europe, but is absent from Scandinavia and has not been recorded from Ireland.
Habitat and ecology
The spider occurs in a fairly wide range of grassland habitats, chalk or limestone grassland in Dorset, Hampshire and Somerset, short meadow grassland in Sussex and Glamorgan and sand dunes at Braunton Burrows (Devon). It has also been found on heathland and coastal under-cliff in Dorset. In 2005 numerous juveniles were found at a washlands in South Essex, with one adult being reared through. Both sexes are adult in April and May.
The spider appears to be very local, it is known from only eight locations since 1992, and at most sites only a few specimens have been found. There appears to have been a major decline in are of occupancy from 13 hectads prior to 1992 to seven hectads after that date.
Threats are difficult to assess because of its varied habitats, but the loss of unimproved grassland in general is likely to be detrimental.
Management and conservation
Maintain unimproved calcareous and other grassland by grazing.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References