Summary for Eratigena atrica (Araneae)

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National Distribution

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Identification difficulty rating: 4
Name: Eratigena atrica
Authority: C.L.Koch, 1843
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Agelenidae
IUCN status: LC

Records: 221
First Record: 1886
Latest Record: 2022

1992-on hectads: 23
Pre-1992 hectads: 42
Total hectads: 64

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
0m to 175m

Species text

Bolzern et al. (2013) proposed that Tegenaria atrica, T. saeva and T. duellica (= T. gigantea) should be placed in a new genus, Eratigena (together with T. agrestis and T. picta amongst British spiders). They further proposed that E. atrica, E. saeva and E. duellica represented just one species, E. atrica. While the transfer to a new genus is justified, the collapse of the three species into one is definitely not (see Oxford & Bolzern 2018 for details).

For a long while, E. atrica was thought to occur in Britain solely as a result of occasional imports. In 2009, however, Smith & Oxford (2009) reported a self-sustaining population in Burnopfield, Co. Durham. Subsequent surveys revealed a very large population of this species spread across some 700 square kilometres centred on Newcastle upon Tyne (Oxford & Smith 2014). The Newcastle population almost certainly originated from spiders accidental imported during Victorian times (Hull 1896). Another populations may have established in the Dundee/Perth region of Scotland. The species is widespread across the whole of continental Europe ( and is common in the Irish Republic, but not Northern Ireland (Oxford & Chesney 1994). This curious distribution is probably a result of historical human importation into the Irish Republic from continental Europe.

Habitat and ecology
The habitat and ecology of this species seems to be identical to that of E. duellica and E. saeva (q.v.).

Older records may refer to E. saeva/gigantea - the naming of these species has, historically, been rather fluid. In Britain, odd specimens are occasionally found in locations such as garden centres and post offices, which suggest recent importation from Ireland or the continent.

Author of profile: Geoff Oxford.

Bolzern, A., Burckhardt, D. & Hänggi, A. 2013. Phylogeny and taxonomy of European funnel-web spiders of the Tegenaria-Malthonica complex (Araneae: Agelenidae) based upon morphological and molecular data. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 168: 723-848.
Hull, J. E. 1896. Catalogue of the spiders (Araneidea) of Northumberland and Durham. Trans. nat. Hist. Soc. Northumb. 13: 57-107.
Oxford, G. S. & Bolzern, A. 2018. Molecules v. morphology - is Eratigena atrica (Araneae: Agelenidae) one species or three? Arachnology 17: 337-357.
Oxford, G. S. & Chesney, H. C. G. 1994. Large house spiders Tegenaria spp. in Northern Ireland: previously overlooked species or recent introductions. Ir. Nat. J. 24: 354-357.
Oxford, G. S. & Smith, C. D. 2014. Distributions of species in the Tegenaria atrica group (Araneae: Agelenidae) in north-east England: chance, contingency and priority. Arachnology 16: 145-153.
Smith, D. & Oxford, G. 2009. An established Tegenaria atrica (Agelenidae) population in mainland Britain: a possible case of competitive exclusion in large house spiders. Newsl. Br. arachnol. Soc. 116: 4-5.  References

 Account last edited by Geoff Oxford at 14:46 on Tue 9th Jan 2024.

Adult Season

Adult Season Data (based on 149 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 32 records with habitat information)

Broad subhabitat Data (based on 1 records with subhabitat information)

Structural Habitat Data (based on 23 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 95 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Eratigena atrica

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Eratigena atrica


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