Summary for Agyneta mossica (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
5m to 720m
There have been rather few records in Britain since its recognition as a new species closely related to M. saxatilis (Schikora 1993), but it is probably a mainly northern and western species in this country. Records given in Schikora (1993 1995) for Kielder Forest in Northumberland and Kinder Scout in Derbyshire have not been submitted to the recording scheme. M. mossica has been recorded from Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany and Poland.
Habitat and ecology
As its species name suggests, M. mossica can be found in wet peaty, mossy habitats, particularly bogs. Details of the ecology of this new species are still scarce. Schikora (1993) records that the most suitable niche for the spider was within open Sphagnum expanses subject to temperature fluctuations. Here, spiders build a small sheet web in depressions made in the Sphagnum layer (Schikora 1995). A few records suggest that the habitat of M. mossica in Britain (Nellist 1996) agrees with that described by Schikora (1995) for the rest of northern Europe. Adults can be found between mid-April and October, with an activity peak beginning in mid-May and ending in June (Schikora 1993). The limited British data show males recorded from April to July and females from May to July, with a peak for males between April and June.
Scarce, but the species' true status remains unclear.
Until more is known about the ecology of this species, the exact nature of the threats it faces remains unknown. However, drainage of bogs for intensive forestry is a general threat to all species living in this habitat.
Management and conservation
Prevent drainage of upland bogs for intensive forestry.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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