Summary for Dipoena melanogaster (Araneae)

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National Distribution

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Dipoena melanogaster - Box Hill Copyright: Matt Wilkinson
Identification difficulty rating: 4
Name: Dipoena melanogaster
Authority: (C.L.Koch, 1837)
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Theridiidae
National Rarity status: NR
IUCN status: EN, criteria: B2ab(ii,iv)

Records: 15
First Record: 1858
Latest Record: 2010

1992-on hectads: 2
Pre-1992 hectads: 5
Total hectads: 6

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
500m to 500m

Species text

In Britain D. melanogaster has only been found in southern England. Single specimens have been recorded from Lyndhurst (Hampshire) in 1858, Bloxworth Heath (Dorset) in 1881, Mickleham Down (Surrey) in 1970, and Hackhurst Downs (Surrey) in 1976. In 1997 it was collected near Juniper Hall Field Centre at Box Hill, Surrey, and again there in 2003. It is widespread in Europe as far north as southern Norway and Sweden, where it is included on their Red List (Gärdenfors 2000). The spider is rare in northern Europe but more common in central and southern Europe.

Habitat and ecology
This species has been recorded from gorse and other low bushes, whilst in Ireland it has been found on the lower branches of Scots pine. Adults have been recorded in June and July.

Very rare in Britain, recorded from just six locations in 150 years and only two locations since 1992.

Afforestation of heathlands may pose a threat.

Management and conservation
As the males are very short lived and females live concealed in a retreat, little is known of their habitat requirements. More information is required before management recommendations can be made.

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 4 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 2 records with habitat information)

no subhabitat data available

Structural Habitat Data (based on 2 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 2 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Dipoena melanogaster

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Dipoena melanogaster


Dipoena melanogaster - Box Hill
Dipoena melanogaster - Box Hill
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