Summary for Hypsosinga heri (Araneae)
Explore Regional Distribution
View notes or log on and add a note on this species
About this speciesRecorded altitude range
0m to 0m
Single male specimens of the spider were recorded from Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire in 1892 and 1912. Old records also exist from Berkshire but the date and locality are not known. The spider was re-discovered in Britain in 2014 near Weymouth. The spider is widespread in southern and central Europe.
Habitat and ecology
The spider occurs on low plants near water. Males reach maturity in June and July. Threats: The lowering of the water table at Wicken Fen, due to the drainage of surrounding farmland, has probably made this site unsuitable for H. heri. Certainly, sites where the spider is found in other parts of Europe have a higher water table than that currently prevailing at Wicken.
Until its discovery in numbers at two sites near Weymouth, the species was assumed to be extinct in Britain. Its occurrence at these two nearby wetland sites may be the result of more recent colonisation or may the result of a lack of previous spider recording at the sites. Extensive recording efforts at Wicken Fen have resulted in no further records at that site.
Efforts have been made at Wicken Fen to reduce the water seepage to the adjacent land by lining the surrounding banks with a waterproof membrane. However, it is unlikely that this will restore previous water table levels. An alternative option would be to extract peat thereby lowering the ground surface down to the present water table.
Management and conservation
Ensure water table at fenland sites is maintained.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References