Summary for Ero tuberculata (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
0m to 150m
The species is widespread but very locally distributed in England south-east of a line from the Severn to the Wash. It is widespread in western and central Europe as far north as Denmark, but has not been recorded from Ireland.
Habitat and ecology
This pirate spider is found mainly on mature heathland on tall heather and gorse. It has also been recorded from younger stages of heathland succession as well as a number of other habitats including fens and buildings. It searches out the webs of other spiders and invades them in order to feed on the rightful occupants. Adults occur in late summer and autumn, but have been recorded until March (Merrett 1990).
A decline of more than 30% is suspected based on a decline in area of occupancy. Population severely fragmented.
The main threats to this species arise from loss of its heathland strongholds to agriculture, forestry, housing and industrial developments (Merrett 1990).
Management and conservation
Although the species appears to be heavily dependent on mature heather, rotational management is necessary to prevent scrub invasion and to maintain all seral stages of heather.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References