Summary for Cheiracanthium virescens (Araneae)

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National Distribution

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Cheiracanthium virescens Copyright: Peter Harvey
Identification difficulty rating: 3
Name: Cheiracanthium virescens
Authority: (Sundevall, 1833)
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Cheiracanthiidae
National Rarity status: NS
IUCN status: LC

Records: 679
First Record: 1875
Latest Record: 2023

1992-on hectads: 117
Pre-1992 hectads: 64
Total hectads: 159

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
0m to 192m

Species text

The species has a scattered distribution in Britain as far north as central Scotland, but is widespread only in parts of southern and eastern England. It is widespread in western and central Europe.

Habitat and ecology
The spider occurs under stones, or low vegetation such as heather, in dry, sandy or sparsely vegetated areas in open habitats such as heathland, waste-ground and dunes. It generally remains in a silk cell during the day and the egg-sac is also hidden away under a stone. Although mostly uncommon it is probably the Cheiracanthium species most often found on heathland and particularly on young heather. Adults of both sexes are found mainly in late spring/early summer and autumn.

Although generally uncommon, the spider may be quite frequent in the south. Recorded from 54 hectads since 1992.

Potential threats include loss of dry heathland to agriculture and urban development as well as damage to sand dunes due to recreational pressures.

Management and conservation
Protect heathland sites from encroachment by agriculture and urban sprawl and manage sand dune sites to reduce recreational pressures.

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 250 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 274 records with habitat information)

Broad subhabitat Data (based on 16 records with subhabitat information)

Structural Habitat Data (based on 288 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 250 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Cheiracanthium virescens

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Cheiracanthium virescens


Cheiracanthium virescens juvenile male 1
Cheiracanthium virescens juvenile male 1
Cheiracanthium virescens
Cheiracanthium virescens
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