Summary for Episinus maculipes (Araneae)

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National Distribution

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Episinus maculipes Female Copyright: Tylan Berry
Identification difficulty rating: 4
Name: Episinus maculipes
Authority: Cavanna, 1876
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Theridiidae
National Rarity status: NS
IUCN status: LC

Records: 182
First Record: 1929
Latest Record: 2023

1992-on hectads: 73
Pre-1992 hectads: 6
Total hectads: 76

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
1m to 159m

Species text

Although E. maculipes was first recorded in Britain in 1929 at Tiptree Heath, Essex (Hull 1934), the spider has never been refound at this location. The species was rediscovered in 1981 on the Isle of Wight (Hillyard 1983), and has subsequently been recorded from sites close to the coast between the Isle of Wight and East Cornwall, the Forest of Dean and more recently the New Forest and Dungeness and ever more discoveries in new areas. An old record for Wheatfen Broad, Norfolk has resulted from the identification of old material (Nellist, 2009). It has been recorded from France and central and south-eastern Europe.

Habitat and ecology
Woodland, woodland edge and vegetated cliffs close to the coast. E. maculipes has been found among the low canopy of trees and shrubs at the edges of woodlands where it spins a Y-shaped web between the vegetation at night. It has occasionally been recorded from the field layer at the woodland edge. There are also several reports of this species from amongst dense curtains of ivy on cliff faces and one from plants close to the strandline. Many records are from habitats close to tidal waters. Adults have been recorded between June and September.

Recorded from an increasing number of hectads since 1992, with the number of known sites and records steadily increasing. This species is no longer the rarity it once was: small populations probably occur in most suitable habitats along the south-west coast of the UK, but it may be under-recorded due to low population densities.

Waterfront development and scrub clearance may pose some threat, but probably not generally at risk.

Management and conservation
Maintain the habitat structure at sites from which this species has been recorded.

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 106 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 40 records with habitat information)

Broad subhabitat Data (based on 9 records with subhabitat information)

Structural Habitat Data (based on 43 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 45 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Episinus maculipes

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Episinus maculipes


Episinus maculipes male palp
Episinus maculipes male palp
Episinus maculipes male Box Hill
Episinus maculipes male Box Hill
Female Episinus maculipes
Female Episinus maculipes
Episinus maculipes female 1
Episinus maculipes female 1
Episinus maculipes Female
Episinus maculipes Female
Episinus maculipes male
Episinus maculipes male
Episinus maculipes male dorsal view
Episinus maculipes male dorsal view
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