Summary for Silometopus ambiguus (Araneae)

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National Distribution

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Identification difficulty rating: 3
Name: Silometopus ambiguus
Authority: (O.P.-Cambridge, 1905)
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Linyphiidae
National Rarity status: NS
IUCN status: LC

Records: 673
First Record: 1895
Latest Record: 2023

1992-on hectads: 113
Pre-1992 hectads: 85
Total hectads: 170

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
0m to 280m

Species text

S. ambiguus is widespread on the coasts of Britain, especially in the region from Suffolk and Essex to north Kent. A European species recorded from Ireland, France, Belgium, Denmark and Norway.

Habitat and ecology
A halobiont, being found on saltmarshes, tidal estuaries and sand-hills by the sea, in tidal litter and on mud. Adults of both sexes have been recorded from February to June and September to November, but females may occur throughout the year.

Local, but the spider may be frequent in suitable habitat. Although Bristowe (1939) had drawn attention to the uncertainty over the identity of Silometopus curtus (Simon), records of this species and of S. ambiguus (O. P.- Cambridge) were confused until Locket & Millidge (1961) suggested that there was just a single, somewhat variable, species for which they believed the name S. curtus had priority. However it was later shown by Denis (1963) that Simon's original description of S. curtus applied to a Mediterranean species which is different from the more widespread northern European species, S. ambiguus.

Sea level rise may pose a future threat to saltmarsh habitats.

Management and conservation
Ensure survival of saltmarshes through managed realignment.

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 400 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 167 records with habitat information)

Broad subhabitat Data (based on 5 records with subhabitat information)

Structural Habitat Data (based on 183 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 276 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Silometopus ambiguus

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Silometopus ambiguus


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