Summary for Acartauchenius scurrilis (Araneae)

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National Distribution

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Acartauchenius scurrilis female Copyright: Tylan Berry
Identification difficulty rating: 4
Name: Acartauchenius scurrilis
Authority: (O.P.-Cambridge, 1872)
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Linyphiidae
National Rarity status: NR
IUCN status: NT, criteria: B2a

Records: 33
First Record: 1900
Latest Record: 2022

1992-on hectads: 11
Pre-1992 hectads: 7
Total hectads: 14

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
0m to 20m

Species text

The species has been recorded from Kynance Cove and Rame Head in Cornwall, Lundy Island and Prawle Point in Devon, New Forest and Woolmer Forest in Hampshire, Studland, Hartland Moor and Morden NNRs and Parley Common in Dorset, Thursley Common NNR in Surrey and Dungeness in Kent. The species is widespread in north-western and central Europe, but has not been recorded from Ireland or Norway.

Habitat and ecology
The spider is restricted by dependence on its ant host to dry heaths and coastal grassland in the south and west. A. scurrilis occurs in the nests of the ant Tetramorium caespitum (L.). The spider is sometimes taken in pitfall traps when dispersing (usually females, very occasionally males). Adult males have been taken in pitfall traps in May and September, and females between April and October, but adults are possibly present in ants' nests throughout most of the year. Denton (1999b) notes it as abundant in Tetramorium nests in Woolmer Forest in October.

The species has a limited area of occupancy having been recorded from just eleven hectads in total. Since its specialised habitat is not often investigated by arachnologists, it may not be as rare as the number of records suggests.

The loss of dry heathland. In Britain the host ant, T. caespitum, nests in areas of dry lowland sandy heath and coastal zones. It is predominantly a southern species requiring habitats with sparse vegetation cover (greater than 40% bare ground) and attracting high levels of insolation at the ground surface.

Management and conservation
Maintain open areas in dry lowland heathland and coastal grassland in suitable condition for the host ant.

Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.).  References

Adult Season

Adult Season Data (based on 13 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 5 records with habitat information)

no subhabitat data available

Structural Habitat Data (based on 8 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 12 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Acartauchenius scurrilis

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Acartauchenius scurrilis


Acartauchenius scurrilis male
Acartauchenius scurrilis male
Acartauchenius scurrilis female
Acartauchenius scurrilis female
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