Summary for Centromerus brevipalpus (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
60m to 60m
This species has a strangely scattered distribution, with records from the south-east of England and two isolated records from Scotland. It has been recorded from Iping Common, Blackdown and Marley Heights near Kingsley Green, and east of Duncton, West Sussex; Hampden, Buckinghamshire; Corehouse, Lanarkshire; and Insh Marshes, East Inverness-shire. It is widespread in north-western and central Europe, but has not been recorded from Ireland.
Habitat and ecology
Beech woodland, heathland and open fen. This species occurs among broad-leaved litter, especially in deep beech litter, and among tall heather. The wide range of habitats and few records suggest that the true microhabitat of this species has yet to be discovered. Males have been found in October and April, and females from October to May.
Recorded from a single hectad since 1992, showing a decline of 75% in hectads with spider records both before and after that date. The spider is never found in abundance.
The loss of heath through pine and bracken invasion is a problem at Blackdown. In 1976, large areas of heath at Iping Common were burnt, which may have reduced the amount of the preferred tall heather available to this spider for several years. Drainage for improved agriculture was a threat to the Insh Marshes, but this site is now an RSPB reserve.
Management and conservation
Maintain good heather cover on heathland sites with a good proportion of tall heather. More needs to be known about this species' autecology.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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