Summary for Maro sublestus (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
4m to 220m
The species has been recorded from Dorset, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, North Lancashire, Kircudbrightshire, Dunbartonshire, Stirlingshire and Inverness-shire. It is a northern European species, recorded from Ireland (van Helsdingen 1996).
Habitat and ecology
M. sublestus occurs in various wet habitats, often under or near trees, in fens on peat under Salix and Calamagrostis and in cut sedge. It has been recorded from wet Salix and Betula litter, on wet heath with Erica tetralix, Molinia and Sphagnum, and once from dry oak litter. Adults of both sexes have been found most frequently in February and March, with males also found in November, and females in January, April, June and August.
Records are from widespread sites but range appears highly fragmented and spider has been recorded from only three locations since 1992. A change in the area occupancy from six hectads prior to 1992 to two (or three?) hectads after that date indicates a major decline. The spider was abundant at Parley Common (Dorset), and has been taken several times at Woodwalton Fen (Huntingdonshire), but most other records are of single individuals. The sites are very widely scattered throughout England and Scotland, suggesting that it may occur at other sites undetected. Records indicate a major decline post-1980.
The loss and drainage of fens and wet woodland habitats.
Management and conservation
Maintain the water table in fens and wet woodland. The growth of scrub in fens is probably beneficial to this species, or at least not detrimental.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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