Summary for Monocephalus castaneipes (Araneae)

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National Distribution

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Monocephalus castaneipes female Copyright: Tylan Berry
Identification difficulty rating: 3
Name: Monocephalus castaneipes
Authority: (Simon, 1884)
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Linyphiidae
BAP status: UKBAP
National Rarity status: NS
IUCN status: LC

Records: 644
First Record: 1900
Latest Record: 2023

1992-on hectads: 146
Pre-1992 hectads: 99
Total hectads: 222

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
5m to 900m

Species text

The species is widespread but scattered throughout most of western and northern Britain as well as England south of the Thames. It seems to be largely absent from the Midlands and eastern England between Yorkshire and Kent including some well worked areas. This spider is restricted to northern Europe (Platnick 1998).

Habitat and ecology
M. castaneipes inhabits two different habitats in Britain. In the south it has been found abundantly amongst moss growing on the trunks and lower branches of standing trees (Merrett 1979). In the north in addition to moss on tree trunks and rocks, it associates with open uplands and mountains, where it lives beneath rocks. Adult females have been recorded in most months of the year. Adult males have been found in the autumn and again peaking from January and February until April.

UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority species. Local. It was added to the UKBAP in the 2007 review because of evidence suggesting a substantial long term decline. Its habitat in moss on trees needs to be specially searched.

Evidence suggests a substantial long term decline, but the causes of this are currently unknown.

Management and conservation
Management should aim to provide a continuity of the existing habitat mosaic.

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 382 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 212 records with habitat information)

Broad subhabitat Data (based on 3 records with subhabitat information)

Structural Habitat Data (based on 189 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 323 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Monocephalus castaneipes

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Monocephalus castaneipes


Monocephalus castaneipes female
Monocephalus castaneipes female
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