Summary for Micaria subopaca (Araneae)

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National Distribution

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Micaria subopaca female Copyright: Esmond Brown
Identification difficulty rating: 3
Name: Micaria subopaca
Authority: Westring, 1861
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Gnaphosidae
National Rarity status: NS
IUCN status: LC

Records: 146
First Record: 1800
Latest Record: 2022

1992-on hectads: 28
Pre-1992 hectads: 15
Total hectads: 35

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
15m to 673m

Species text

The species is almost confined to the south of England. It has also been found in Stirlingshire, and in Glasgow and Liverpool, but in view of the distance from its main centre of population in the south, there must be some doubt as to whether these northern records represent well-established populations or are chance importations. It is widespread in northern and central Europe.

Habitat and ecology
M. subopaca occurs mainly on trunks of pine trees, but has also been found at the base of oak trees and on railings. It is an ant-mimic, often found in company with ants, running on pine trunks in sunshine. Both sexes are adult from May to October.

The spider can be fairly numerous on pine trees in a number of places in the south of England, but records indicate an apparent decline. The isolated northern records may represent temporary colonies formed by accidental introductions, and it remains to be seen whether they will persist and whether other northern populations will be found.

Threats include the loss of old trees in sunny situations and the loss of heathland to development or seral succession.

Management and conservation
Old trees in sunny situations should be retained and seral succession prevented from shading existing trunks.

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 58 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 21 records with habitat information)

Broad subhabitat Data (based on 5 records with subhabitat information)

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

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 22 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Micaria subopaca

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Micaria subopaca


Micaria subopaca epigyne
Micaria subopaca epigyne
Micaria subopaca female
Micaria subopaca female
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