Summary for Leptothrix hardyi (Araneae)

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National Distribution

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Identification difficulty rating: 3
Name: Leptothrix hardyi
Authority: (Blackwall, 1850)
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Linyphiidae
National Rarity status: NS
IUCN status: LC
Watching Brief: Amber

Records: 381
First Record: 1848
Latest Record: 2021

1992-on hectads: 30
Pre-1992 hectads: 104
Total hectads: 133

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
0m to 750m

Species text

L. hardyi is widespread on southern heathlands and in western and northern Britain. A Palaearctic species widespread in north-western Europe.

Habitat and ecology
L. hardyi is generally found in wet habitats on moorland and heathland on high ground, but in the south of England it can be abundant on recently-burnt heathland with sparse vegetation cover. It is predominantly a winter active species and is absent in mid-summer (Merrett 1969). Our data show adults of both sexes have been collected in autumn and spring.

The spider is very local and uncommon but may have been overlooked because it is largely winter-active and not easy to find except in pitfall traps. It may be abundant on burnt heathland in Dorset, but was never found by O. Pickard-Cambridge and was not recorded in the county until 1962. It was then found at 29 sites in the 1968/1969 heathland surveys. However, even with a presumption of under-recording, there may have been a long term decline and we have included this species in the 'Watching Brief' category.

Loss of heathland to agriculture and urban development is a potential threat as is lack of open ground conditions.

Management and conservation
Protect heathland from destruction due to agriculture and urban development. Maintain early seral stages on heathland.

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 106 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 166 records with habitat information)

Broad subhabitat Data (based on 1 records with subhabitat information)

Structural Habitat Data (based on 110 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 126 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Leptothrix hardyi

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Leptothrix hardyi


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