Summary for Zodarion rubidum (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
5m to 5m
The species was first collected in Britain at Temple Mills in the Lee Valley, South Essex by P. Mabbott in July 1997 (Harvey 1999b). The species is known from Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, France, Germany, Hungary, north Italy, north-east Spain, Switzerland, and (probably as an introduction) the USA (Bosmans 1997).
Habitat and ecology
Like other Zodarion species there is an association with dry, warm, sunny open habitats containing a proportion of bare ground and with ant prey. The habitat at Temple Mills consisted of ruderal vegetation and scrub developed on a substrate of old dry railway ballast ranging in size from coarse stones to finer material. The main ant species present at the site was the common black ant Lasius niger. The formerly extensive site consisted of railway marshalling yards, mostly abandoned in the mid-1980s but mills have at various times stood on or near the site since at least the 13th century (Burley et al. 1989). Adults have been found through the whole summer from June to September.
Known from a single location. A visit to the area in 2007 indicates that the original site has been wholly redeveloped and that no suitable habitat remains. Other areas nearby have been searched without success.
The known site has been destroyed by the construction of a road and retail development.
Management and conservation
Open sunny habitats need to be maintained by periodic control of scrub and tree invasion. Occasional disturbance to expose areas of bare ground is likely to be beneficial.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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