Summary for Micrommata virescens (Araneae)

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National Distribution

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Micrommata virescens male Copyright: Barrie Jones
Identification difficulty rating: 2
Name: Micrommata virescens
Authority: (Clerck, 1757)
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Sparassidae
National Rarity status: NS
IUCN status: LC

Records: 330
First Record: 1736
Latest Record: 2022

1992-on hectads: 42
Pre-1992 hectads: 48
Total hectads: 72

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
25m to 700m

Species text

M. virescens is widespread but very scattered in the southern half of Britain, with few records in the north. It is absent from many areas. The species is widespread in western and central Europe but uncommon.

Habitat and ecology
Both sexes are distinctive and are not likely to be mistaken for any other species in Britain. The spider prefers damp sheltered woodland and is often found on the lower branches of oak saplings, on tall grass or sedge tussocks where it sits head down waiting to pounce on passing insects. In mid-summer the female stitches together several leaves to form a relatively large space to enclose the egg-sac (Bristowe 1958). Females are mature from May through to September, but males have a short season and are rare.

Very local and rarer in the north. Although this spider is not that easy to find, in spite of its size and colour, it is unlikely to be overlooked when seen by either general naturalists or arachnologists, and there appears to have been a long term decline.

The reasons for the decline in this species are unclear, but may be related to general landscape degradation in lowland Britain and fragmentation of semi-natural habitats.

Management and conservation
Maintain landscape scale continuity to woodlands and intervening habitats and ensure woodlands retain open areas through rotational management.

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 76 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 106 records with habitat information)

Broad subhabitat Data (based on 2 records with subhabitat information)

Structural Habitat Data (based on 26 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 41 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Micrommata virescens

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Micrommata virescens


Green Huntsman female on hand
Green Huntsman female on hand
Micrommata virescens Swinley Forest
Micrommata virescens Swinley Forest
Green Huntsman
Green Huntsman
Micrommata virescens female close-up
Micrommata virescens female close-up
Micrommata virescens female in Dorset
Micrommata virescens female in Dorset
Micrommata female
Micrommata female
Micrommata virescens male
Micrommata virescens male
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