Summary for Drapetisca socialis (Araneae)

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National Distribution

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Drapetisca socialis male Copyright: Peter Harvey
Identification difficulty rating: 3
Name: Drapetisca socialis
Authority: (Sundevall, 1833)
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Linyphiidae
IUCN status: LC

Records: 2485
First Record: 1858
Latest Record: 2023

1992-on hectads: 546
Pre-1992 hectads: 356
Total hectads: 749

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
0m to 400m

Species text

D. socialis is widespread in much of Britain, but scattered in the west and a number of other areas. It is widespread in north-western and central Europe.

Habitat and ecology
D. socialis almost always occurs well camouflaged on the bark of tree trunks, less often in the litter at the base of trees and sometimes on fences in woods. However, the species has been recorded from a number of other habitats including damp rock faces in a disused quarry (Mackie 1965). The females construct a web of very fine threads, covering an area of about 6 x 4 cm2, which lies very close to the trunk surface, practically invisible to the naked eye, and on this web they are approached by males during courtship (Kullmann 1961). Investigations in Germany showed that the species selected regions of trunks covered with a layer of epiphytic algae, probably because of increased prey availability in such areas, and placed webs under protuberances on the trunk, presumably to gain protection against water (Schütt 1997). Mackie (1965) showed that in north Cheshire, 45% of individuals were uniformly black, and suggested industrial melanism. Adults occur in late summer and autumn with a peak of activity in September and October. Mature females have been seen on trunks until late in December (Gurr 1967) and there is some evidence that a few adults over-winter. Immatures have been noted in tiny sheet webs in detritus at the base of trees but may be seen on the trunks from April to July.

Fairly common, and may be locally abundant.

Original author of profile: I.M. Howe

Text based on Harvey, P.R., Nellist, D.R. & Telfer, M.G. (eds) 2002. Provisional atlas of British spiders (Arachnida, Araneae), Volumes 1 & 2. Huntingdon: Biological Records Centre.  References

Adult Season

Adult Season Data (based on 883 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 1233 records with habitat information)

Broad subhabitat Data (based on 82 records with subhabitat information)

Structural Habitat Data (based on 343 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 641 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Drapetisca socialis

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Drapetisca socialis


Drapetisca socialis f Dingle Anglesey
Drapetisca socialis f Dingle Anglesey
Drapetisca socialis Swinley Park
Drapetisca socialis Swinley Park
5 legs
5 legs
D. socialis. Two females.
D. socialis. Two females.
Female Drapetisca with springtail prey.
Female Drapetisca with springtail prey.
D. socialis male in web.
D. socialis male in web.
Female with prey
Female with prey
Drapestisca socialis Male 2
Drapestisca socialis Male 2
Drapetisca socialis female
Drapetisca socialis female
Drapetisca socialis male
Drapetisca socialis male
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