Summary for Xysticus sabulosus (Araneae)

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National Distribution

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Identification difficulty rating: 3
Name: Xysticus sabulosus
Authority: (Hahn, 1832)
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Thomisidae
National Rarity status: NS
IUCN status: LC
Watching Brief: Amber

Records: 183
First Record: 1893
Latest Record: 2021

1992-on hectads: 26
Pre-1992 hectads: 58
Total hectads: 78

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
0m to 490m

Species text

The species has a patchy and very scattered distribution in England, Scotland and Wales. It is a Palaearctic species widespread in western and central Europe.

Habitat and ecology
A complex patterning containing much brown and black confers good camouflage for this species in its favoured habitat on sand or gravel on heathland, although it has occasionally been found on low heathland vegetation. It can be regarded as a pioneer species on burnt heathland, numbers rising to a high level in the first two to three years after burning (Merrett 1976). It is the only member of the group in which mature specimens of both sexes may be found into the autumn and, indeed, female activity has been recorded from March through to December suggesting that egg-laying may be interrupted by winter and completed in the spring (Merrett 1967a).

Uncommon and very local, although Merrett (1967a) showed that it could be an abundant thomisid on some areas of southern English heathland. Despite the likelihood of some under-recording on southern heathlands it has apparently undergone a significant major decline throughout the UK.

Much of the recent decline has probably been due to conversion of heathland to forestry and building. The lack of grazing or burning on some heathlands may have allowed scrub to encroach thus destroying its preferred habitat.

Management and conservation
Protect existing heathland from conversion to other land-uses. Ensure heathland is managed to create sufficient open-ground habitats.

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 20 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 64 records with habitat information)

Broad subhabitat Data (based on 1 records with subhabitat information)

Structural Habitat Data (based on 5 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 10 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Xysticus sabulosus

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Xysticus sabulosus


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