Summary for Arctosa cinerea (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
1m to 244m
The species has been recorded only from Wales, northern England and Scotland. It is probably under-recorded because of its specialised habitat and the likely need to turn over many rocks before finding a specimen, although the spider may attract the attention of the general public because of its large size and riverside habitat. It is widespread in western and central Europe.
Habitat and ecology
River shingle. A. cinerea inhabits shingle beds of fast flowing rivers and lakeshores. It may be found hiding in crevices between rocks, close to the water's edge, where it constructs a silken burrow and where it apparently remains even when the river floods. Adult females are probably present throughout the year; males have been recorded in spring, summer and autumn.
The spider may be very locally common in its specialised habitat.
Over-zealous management of rivers, with removal, disturbance, or stabilisation of shingle, may threaten the species. There is a widespread lack of appreciation of the value of such an apparently barren habitat as river shingle.
Management and conservation
Ensure that riverine shingle sites are protected from unnecessary disturbance, and that natural braiding and flooding is allowed on suitable rivers.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References