Summary for Gnaphosa occidentalis (Araneae)

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National Distribution

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Gnaphosa occidentalis female Copyright: Tylan Berry
Identification difficulty rating: 4
Name: Gnaphosa occidentalis
Authority: Simon, 1878
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Gnaphosidae
National Rarity status: NR
IUCN status: NT

Records: 26
First Record: 1922
Latest Record: 2022

1992-on hectads: 3
Pre-1992 hectads: 2
Total hectads: 4

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
20m to 20m

Species text

The British records are from West Cornwall: Kynance Cove in 1922 (one male and two females), 2004 (one female), Cadgwith in 1935 and Penhale in 2004 (one female). The species is also known from France.

Habitat and ecology
The two specimens collected in 2004 were both found beneath stones in maritime grassland. The two localities are well-known for their cliff-top heather and grassland.

Few specimens have been found in this country. None had been found since 1935 until two females were found independently in 2004, the first from Penhale and the second from Kynance Cove, by P. Smithers and A. Russell-Smith respectively. Public access, accidental fires and scrub encroachment may threaten the existing populations.

The cliff-tops at Kynance have suffered badly from heavy trampling, but public access is now controlled by the National Trust and the heath and grassland communities are recovering very well. Accidental fires are possibly the main threat at this site now. At Cadgwith there has been no grazing on the cliffs for many years and the coastal heath and grassland have been largely lost to rank vegetation including scrub and bracken. It is unlikely that G. occidentalis will have survived at Cadgwith.

Management and conservation
Grazing has been restored by the National Trust and English Nature on the cliff heathland at Kynance.

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 20 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 4 records with habitat information)

no subhabitat data available

Structural Habitat Data (based on 19 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 18 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Gnaphosa occidentalis

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Gnaphosa occidentalis


Gnaphosa occidentalis female
Gnaphosa occidentalis female
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