Summary for Micrargus laudatus (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
1m to 251m
The species is confined to the south of England apart from records from Ramsey (Pembrokeshire), Staffordshire, North Wales (Gallon 1998; 2001a), Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Nottinghamshire. In Europe it is reported for France, Belgium, Switzerland, Hungary and possibly Romania.
Habitat and ecology
M. laudatus occurs mainly on dry heathland, mostly in fairly sparsely vegetated areas, but also sometimes on short, stony calcareous grassland, especially near the coast. It is possibly an ant-mimic. Adults have been recorded in most months of the year, with the main activity period in late June and July.
The spider is fairly widespread on southern heathland, but possibly commoner in the New Forest and in West Sussex and Surrey than in Dorset and further west. It is also widespread on coastal cliff top grassland. In both habitats, it is rather local and never particularly numerous. There appears to have been a substantial decline since the 1960s and 70s.
The loss of heathland to agriculture, forestry or development. Most of its coastal grassland sites are probably too stony or inaccessible to be threatened.
Management and conservation
On heathland it may occur mostly in areas that are sparsely vegetated because of lack of soil rather than as a result of burning. On burnt sites it shows no clear trends of changes in numbers, though young heather should be more suitable than mature heather.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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