Summary for Gnaphosa lugubris (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
1m to 61m
The species has been recorded from E. Suffolk, W. Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Dorset, but most records are from south-east Dorset. Old records from Berkshire and Staffordshire must be regarded as doubtful. It is fairly widespread in north-western and central Europe, but the species is not recorded from Ireland, Scandinavia north of Denmark, and only doubtfully from the Netherlands (van Helsdingen 1999).
Habitat and ecology
In Dorset, G. lugubris is found in dry stony areas on open heathland and on coastal limestone grassland, usually on hillsides in both cases. It also occurs in coastal grassland on the Isle of Wight and in dry coastal habitats in Sussex and Suffolk. Adult males are found from May to July with a peak of activity in early June; females from May to October.
Although the current status of the species in south-east Dorset is uncertain, the spider has always been rather scarce and there appears to have been a real decline. It is known from four locations since 1992. Area of occupancy has fallen by 57% from seven hectads prior to 1992 to three hectads since that date.
There is probably little threat to most of its coastal sites, although coastal realignment of the Ore estuary is a potential threat to all shingle species on Havergate Island and Orford Ness, East Suffolk, and most of its heathland sites are NNRs, but other heathland sites may be threatened by agriculture, afforestation or development.
Management and conservation
Maintain open stony areas on heathland and short coastal grassland by grazing. However, many of its sites would probably remain sparsely vegetated because of lack of soil.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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