Summary for Meta bourneti (Araneae)

previous species | next species

National Distribution

Logged-on? click on dot to query records. Please note our
Terms of Use. Double-click on map to go to region

View time series maps for Meta bourneti
Met bourneti Copyright: Mark Pajak
Identification difficulty rating: 3
Name: Meta bourneti
Authority: Simon, 1922
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Tetragnathidae
National Rarity status: NS
IUCN status: LC

Records: 114
First Record: 1900
Latest Record: 2021

1992-on hectads: 48
Pre-1992 hectads: 10
Total hectads: 56

Explore Regional Distribution

Please log on and add a note on this species

Missing records?

Please report any problems with this record:
VC error
GR error
Taxon ID suspect
Structural habitat suspect
Other problems, please explain here:


About this species

Recorded altitude range
0m to 100m

Species text

The species has a widespread but scattered distribution in southern England with one record from Wales. It has been recorded from France, Germany, Switzerland, Romania, Italy and the Iberian Peninsula, but it is possible that some European records of M. menardi refer to M. bourneti (Roberts 1995).

Habitat and ecology
M. bourneti is generally regarded as a spider found in underground situations, e.g. tunnels, culverts and drainage inspection chambers. However, males have been recorded close to ancient oak trees in Sherwood Forest. This suggests that the hollow trunks of ancient trees may provide similar conditions to those found in the spider's acknowledged habitat, i.e. dark, damp spaces of sufficient dimensions to enable the large orb web to be spun. Halstead (2000) located a colony in the hollow stump of a lime tree at Burley in the New Forest. M. bourneti is very similar to M. menardi, both species having a glossy appearance and a similar size. Further searching for M. bourneti needs to be carried out to confirm its habitat range.

The spider is known from rather few sites but often in good numbers. It may be under-recorded due to its unusual habitat and confusion with Meta menardi, especially where adult vouchers are not identified through critical examination using a microscope.

Where the spider inhabits ancient, hollow trees there is a danger of damage to the habitat through the uninformed 'tidying up' of dead and decaying timber.

Management and conservation
Recommendations for management of M. bourneti are difficult to make without a fuller knowledge of the habitat requirements and the true status of the species in the British Isles. Further field investigation and search for the species is required.

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 65 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 55 records with habitat information)

no subhabitat data available

Structural Habitat Data (based on 3 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 20 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Meta bourneti

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Meta bourneti


Calm Cave Spider on drainage cavity brickwork
Calm Cave Spider on drainage cavity brickwork
Plan view of Cave Spider on drainage cavity brickwork
Plan view of Cave Spider on drainage cavity brickwork
Meta bourneti
Meta bourneti
Met bourneti
Met bourneti
please log on and upload a new image for this species

See also A-Z Species Index - A-Z Picture Index - previous species | next species