Summary for Uloborus walckenaerius (Araneae)

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National Distribution

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Uloborus walckenaerius Copyright: Peter Harvey
Identification difficulty rating: 3
Name: Uloborus walckenaerius
Authority: Latreille, 1806
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Uloboridae
National Rarity status: NR
IUCN status: NT, criteria: B2a

Records: 135
First Record: 1800
Latest Record: 2022

1992-on hectads: 11
Pre-1992 hectads: 11
Total hectads: 16

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
10m to 80m

Species text

The spider has been found at a few heathland localities in southern England - the New Forest and Crookham in Hampshire; Chobham Common, Thursley Common and Ash Ranges, Surrey and Lavington Common and Ambersham Common, West Sussex (Merrett, in Bratton 1991). Denton (1999a) adds other Surrey locations for the spider at Brentmoor Common and Witley Common. It is widespread in western Europe but absent from Scandinavia and Ireland.

Habitat and ecology
The spider favours mature heather plants where it spins a horizontal orb web about half way up the plant. There is a stabilimentum (band of silk) running through the web's hub, extending to its opposing edges. The spider hangs down from the web hub in line with the stabilimentum. Both sexes mature in the late spring.

UK Biodiversity Action Plan species. Large numbers have been found in some localities but the species is no longer present or severely reduced in numbers at some of its former strongholds.

The prolonged and continued loss of mature heathland has destroyed much of the habitat for this species. The loss of habitat has been due primarily to fire, planting with coniferous woodland, motorcycle scrambling and birch and pine invasion (Merrett, in Bratton 1991). Housing developments have also destroyed much heathland.

Management and conservation
At sites where the species still exists a mature heather habitat should be retained and encouraged. Where heather is perhaps over-mature a programme of controlled annual burning of small areas over a period of 20 years or so (Merrett, in Bratton 1991) and manual scrub clearance should help maintain a mature heather habitat. On some fenced sites the Calluna heath can be effectively managed by grazing, but this option is not possible on sites with common rights where fencing is prohibited.

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 40 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 12 records with habitat information)

no subhabitat data available

Structural Habitat Data (based on 8 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 24 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Uloborus walckenaerius

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Uloborus walckenaerius


Uloborus walckenaerius side view
Uloborus walckenaerius side view
Uloborus walckenaerius on cross-leaved heath
Uloborus walckenaerius on cross-leaved heath
Uloborus walckenaerius adult female
Uloborus walckenaerius adult female
Uloborus walckenaerius
Uloborus walckenaerius
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