Micaria pulicaria sensu lato

    Description

    A distinctive pattern of white on the dark abdomen and a radial pattern on the carapace help with identification. 

    Similar Species

    In 2019 DNA analysis split the species Micaria pulicaria into two:

    • Micaria micans has a dark longitudinal stripes on the dorsal of femora III and IV (sometimes also recognizable on the tibiae of these legs), caused by stripe-like arrangement of dark hairs and dark pigmentation of the cuticule; prefers warm, dry sites. 
    • Micaria pulicaria sensu stricto does not have these stripes; favours damper habitats. 

    The colour difference is a reliable and supported by DNA. There are also characteristics of the epigyne and particularly the male palp which help, but these are very subtle! Uncertain records and old records prior to the split (unless the specimen has been redetermined) are recorded as Micaria pulicaria sensu lato.

    Identification difficulty
    Habitat

    M. pulicaria is often to be found in open areas of short vegetation where there are scattered stones or small beds of stones.

    When to see it

    Peak time is late spring to mid-summer.

    UK Status

    The Micaria pulicaria/micans aggregate is widespread and fairly frequent throughout most of Britain. True status of the two individual species may have to be re-evaluated when more individuals have been recorded to species level.

    VC55 Status

    Not known.

    Further Information

    3,389 British records for this species to 2015.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map