Summary for Scotophaeus blackwalli (Araneae)

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National Distribution

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Scotophaeus blackwalli female Copyright: Peter Harvey
Identification difficulty rating: 3
Name: Scotophaeus blackwalli
Authority: (Thorell, 1871)
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Gnaphosidae
IUCN status: LC

Records: 1437
First Record: 1861
Latest Record: 2022

1992-on hectads: 281
Pre-1992 hectads: 136
Total hectads: 366

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
1m to 400m

Species text

The species is widespread in much of England with scattered records in Wales and Scotland as far north as Kincardineshire. It is widespread in north-western and central Europe and the Palaearctic in general.

Habitat and ecology
In Britain S. blackwalli typically seems to be restricted to houses, sheds, etc. which suggests that this species has migrated northwards from warmer places. It has been found in gardens on bushes and can be fairly common on wooden fences and under bark of dead trees in urban situations in Leicestershire (J. Daws, pers. comm.). These outdoor specimens have been noted as generally much larger than those from inside houses (Crocker & Daws 1996). Certainly, in the Mediterranean region, where there are more Scotophaeus species, these are often lighter coloured and are to be found under flakes of bark on trees (particularly pines) and even in the dried stalks of reeds. In Britain one often comes across S. blackwalli at night, creeping stealthily on the walls or ceilings of a house. It may be that S. blackwalli does so, unnoticed, during daylight and that it is its dark colour and sinister movement that catches the eye when the electric light is switched on. Adults have been recorded throughout the year, but mainly in summer.

Relatively common.

Original author of profile: J.A. Murphy

Text based on Harvey, P.R., Nellist, D.R. & Telfer, M.G. (eds) 2002. Provisional atlas of British spiders (Arachnida, Araneae), Volumes 1 & 2. Huntingdon: Biological Records Centre.  References

Adult Season

Adult Season Data (based on 544 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 468 records with habitat information)

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

Structural Habitat Data (based on 30 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 133 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Scotophaeus blackwalli

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Scotophaeus blackwalli


In the bathroom after dark
In the bathroom after dark
Mouse Spider (Scotophaeus blackwalli)
Mouse Spider (Scotophaeus blackwalli)
Mouse spider seen inside a house
Mouse spider seen inside a house
Mouse spider
Mouse spider
Female S.blackwalli
Female S.blackwalli
Found inside library in Norwich
Found inside library in Norwich
Scotophaeus blackwalli Female 2
Scotophaeus blackwalli Female 2
Scotophaeus blackwalli (Unknown sex)
Scotophaeus blackwalli (Unknown sex)
Scotophaeus blackwalli female
Scotophaeus blackwalli female
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