Summary for Zelotes longipes (Araneae)
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About this speciesDistribution
The species is confined to England south of a line from Norfolk to Somerset, apart from one old doubtful record from Argyll. It is widespread in western and central Europe.
Habitat and ecology
Z. longipes occurs mainly on dry heathland. It appears in the first year after fire, but reaches maximum densities between about 5 to 12 years afterwards. It is also occasionally found in dry coastal habitats, under debris on stable sandy shingle, etc. Males have been recorded from June to November, with a peak of activity in August and September. Females are probably present for most of the year, but are active mainly from April to September, with a peak in August.
The spider has been found in numbers on heathland in Dorset in the past, but is seemingly less frequent in the New Forest and on Surrey heaths and very scarce elsewhere. Since 1992 it has been collected from just two locations. However, this is a generally uncommon spider, and resurvey of the old southern heathland sites is needed. Despite this the species appears to have suffered major decline in area of occupancy from 15 hectads prior to 1992 to just two since that date.
Loss of dry heathland to agriculture, development.
Management and conservation
Maintain seral stages of heathland by rotational management. This species is able to live in a wide range of ages of heather, but is most abundant in moderately young heather.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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