Summary for Agyneta cauta (Araneae)

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National Distribution

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Identification difficulty rating: 4
Name: Agyneta cauta
Authority: (O.P.-Cambridge, 1902)
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Linyphiidae
National Rarity status: NS
IUCN status: LC
Watching Brief: Amber

Records: 963
First Record: 1872
Latest Record: 2024

1992-on hectads: 89
Pre-1992 hectads: 164
Total hectads: 238

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
3m to 850m

Species text

The species is widespread on southern heathlands, in Wales, northern England and Scotland, but absent or very scattered elsewhere. It is a European species, widespread in most of north-western and central Europe, but apparently not recorded from France.

Habitat and ecology
A. cauta is generally found in litter, detritus and sometimes in moss in damp sites. Crocker & Daws (1996) record the capture, in Leicestershire in July, of both sexes in a pitfall trap set in bracken/heather heathland, and of a male on the same occasion in a trap set in open, rocky, exposed Nardus grass heath on a summit ridge at 900' (270 m). It has been recorded from a small Sphagnum bog in Essex and occurred commonly in blanket bog in Scotland, together with A. olivacea. Adults of both sexes have mainly been recorded from early to mid-summer, with females occasionally persisting until the autumn.

Although recorded from a total of 207 hectads, the spider has only been found in 52 hectads since 1992. This huge apparent decline may be explained by many older records from the north and west referring to A. olivacea, and by relatively poor recent recording in Welsh wetlands, the Pennines and southern heathland, three key areas for A. cauta. Nevertheless, the species should be monitored.

Drainage of wet areas in heathland, moorland and bogs represents a potential threat to this species.

Management and conservation
Ensure the maintenance of a high water table in those habitats where it occurs.

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 305 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 250 records with habitat information)

Broad subhabitat Data (based on 6 records with subhabitat information)

Structural Habitat Data (based on 294 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 354 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Agyneta cauta

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Agyneta cauta


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