Summary for Steatoda albomaculata (Araneae)

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National Distribution

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Steatoda albomaculata male Copyright: Peter Harvey
Identification difficulty rating: 3
Name: Steatoda albomaculata
Authority: (De Geer, 1778)
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Theridiidae
National Rarity status: NR
IUCN status: LC

Records: 135
First Record: 1900
Latest Record: 2021

1992-on hectads: 21
Pre-1992 hectads: 22
Total hectads: 32

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
3m to 75m

Species text

S. albomaculata has been recorded only from central-southern England and East Anglia, where it is widespread on the heaths of Dorset, the New Forest, Surrey and Breckland. It occurs throughout Europe but is more abundant in the south.

Habitat and ecology
The main habitat for this species is dry heathland, where it is found on sparsely vegetated, stony ground. It is also associated with burnt areas on heathland, reaching maximum densities at between two and four years after the fire then declining for approximately eight years after which it is absent. It has also been found on shingle ridges in Norfolk. S. albomaculata spins a small web between low stems of Ulex minor, around grass tussocks or between large stones and the ground. Beetles and ants are its main prey. Adults can be found from April to October with a peak between May and June and another between August and September.

A local species in southern England which has apparently declined significantly in the past 30 years. Paradoxically, it could have declined as a result of improved control of heathland fires, as it is very dependent on bare ground.

The loss of heathland to agriculture and forestry.

Management and conservation
Protect heathlands from conversion to other land uses. Maintain all age classes of heather by rotational burning.

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 44 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 42 records with habitat information)

no subhabitat data available

Structural Habitat Data (based on 38 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 43 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Steatoda albomaculata

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Steatoda albomaculata


Steatoda albomaculata female
Steatoda albomaculata female
Steatoda albomaculata male
Steatoda albomaculata male
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