Summary for Zelotes petrensis (Araneae)
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About this speciesDistribution
The species has been recorded only from a few southern counties. Most sites are in a small area of Surrey and a neighbouring part of Hampshire although there are recent records from Suffolk, Staffordshire and Worcestershire. It is widespread in north-western and central Europe, but has not been recorded from Ireland.
Habitat and ecology
The habitat is poorly known. The species appears to occur in a fairly wide range of dry open habitats, such as fairly open areas on dry heathland and chalk grassland, but also on coastal shingle and among grass and under stones on dry hillsides. At the only known site in Essex the species occurred in some numbers in rabbit-grazed unimproved grass heath. Adults have been found from March to October, with males March to May and July to October.
Generally few specimens have been found, but at the Essex site considerable numbers were collected by hand searching and in pitfall traps (Harvey 1998). It has been recorded from only seven 10 km squares post-1992.
The loss of open heathland and grassland to agriculture, afforestation and development.
Management and conservation
Little is known of the spider's detailed habitat requirements, but it would appear likely to benefit from the maintenance of some open areas of heathland by rotational management, and some grazing would probably be beneficial on 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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