Summary for Pellenes tripunctatus (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
1m to 3m
Formerly recorded only from Folkestone, East Kent, in 1888, when both sexes were found, numerous specimens have been found in recent years at Dungeness, East Kent. The spider was found in 1994 on Chesil Beach, Dorset and on a number of occasions since, sometimes in some numbers. There is also an unconfirmed record in the 1980s from the Crumbles, East Sussex, a site which has undergone substantial development with little habitat remaining. It is apparently widespread in central and southern Europe.
Habitat and ecology
The spider has been found on sparsely vegetated shingle, on one occasion in whelk shells. Adults have been found in late May and June.
The spider appears to be restricted to two extended coastal shingle sites where good populations apparently occur. However, shingle habitats are prone to damage by leisure activities, commercial activities and exceptional tidal and wave conditions.
The Crumbles was largely destroyed in 1988 by marina and building developments. Dungeness has being extensively damaged by gravel extraction, which is causing significant alteration of the hydrology, and thereby ecology, in addition to the obvious loss of shingle area to gravel-pits. There are also plans for a new power station at Dungeness. Irrevocable damage has been caused by motor cycles and other vehicles crossing the shingle, damaging the vegetation and the shingle ridges. This damage has largely been reduced to the occasional incident and there is evidence that the shingle communities are capable of regenerating after superficial disturbance.
Management and conservation
Adequate safeguards are necessary to avoid the damaging operations mentioned above.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References