Summary for Trichoncus affinis (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
0m to 5m
The species has been recorded from Hayling Island in South Hampshire, Rye in East Sussex, Dungeness and Church Wood in East Kent, Orford Beach and Havergate Island in East Suffolk, all records except one being since 1960. Apart from the inland site in East Kent, all records are coastal. It has been reported from France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania, but the taxonomy of this genus is rather confused in Europe.
Habitat and ecology
It has been found among the roots of sparse vegetation on shingle, apart from one inland site where both sexes are regularly found in litter accumulated in recently coppiced chestnut in Church Wood RSPB Reserve, part of the Blean Woods complex near Canterbury (Russell-Smith 1998). Adults of both sexes have been recorded in April, May, June and September, and females in July and November.
The spider was numerous at Blean Woods, Orford Beach and Dungeness, but the other records are based on few individuals.
The coastal habitat is susceptible to public pressure, shingle vegetation being very vulnerable to trampling. Dungeness has been damaged by gravel extraction and there are 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
Prevent further gravel extraction at Dungeness and control access by off-road vehicles. Ensure that coppicing is continued on a regular cycle in Blean Woods and other chestnut woodland in the South-East.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References
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