Summary for Walckenaeria dysderoides (Araneae)
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About this speciesRecorded altitude range
0m to 518m
The species is widespread in England but with few scattered records in Wales and Scotland. It is widespread in north-western and central Europe.
Habitat and ecology
The spider is found on southern heathlands, especially in open, stony areas, but has also been recorded in pine needles and moss in woodlands, and on both acidic and calcareous grassland. Adults have been recorded throughout the year with most males between May and July.
Although widely distributed in the southern half of Britain, it is generally uncommon. The species has apparently shown a long-term decline, with a reduction of 50% in the number of 10 km squares occupied over the past 30 years.
Loss of heathland and calcareous grassland to agriculture and urban development are potential causes of decline. However, given the range of habitats it occurs in, it is difficult to understand the reasons for this species’ decline in recent years.
Management and conservation
Protect remaining heathland and calcareous grassland sites from loss due to agriculture, forestry and urban development. Further research is required into the ecology of this species before precise management recommendations can be made.
Text based on Dawson, I.K., Harvey, P.R., Merrett, P. & Russell-Smith, A.R. (in prep.). References