Summary for Erigone aletris (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
0m to 160m
The first record of this species in Britain and Europe was of a male specimen taken in 1976 at a site in East Lothian (Snazell 1980). Previously known from coastal sites in North America, the subsequent discovery of additional specimens along the Lothian coastline from Leith Docks to North Berwick led to the supposition that immigration might have happened through Leith (Stewart 1987; Horsfield & Stewart 1989). Since then there has been a relatively rapid spread inland within Lothian, with an altitudinal distribution from sea level up to 230 m. The first record for Fife was noted by Gordon Corbet in 1996, and since then it has been found at several sites along the coast of Fife as far north as Tentsmuir. It has recently been found in England near Whitton, North Lincolnshire (Gallon 2001c) and the Thames corridor in east London.
Habitat and ecology
Originally apparently confined to coastal habitats, this spider can now be found in a wide variety of habitat such as under stones and rubbish, on waste ground and in gardens, in short and tall vegetation, on conifers and in conifer litter. Pitfall trapping in cereal and oil seed rape crops produced a large number of specimens (I.S. Downie, pers. comm.). This species seems to be a very successful immigrant and can be expected to continue spreading out from its now rather wide base. Adults are present throughout the year, with peak numbers in July and August.
Fairly common within a locally restricted range.
Original author of profile: J. A. Stewart
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
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