Philodromus praedatus

    Description

    Body length male: 3.5 to 5 mm female: 4 to 7 mm. Very variable in colour, usually brown or yellowish brown, marked with spots or blotches. Males often patterned more intensely, sometimes uncoloured dark brown. Prosoma often with broad light median band, spotted laterally. Legs yellowish-grey, or brown with dark spots. Opisthosoma with light median band, often with dark cardiac mark.

    Identification difficulty
    Recording advice

    Although males can be distinguished from other members of the aureolus group, females are difficult without dissection and reference to reliably identified specimens. Identification by the external appearance of the epigyne is unreliable. See Harvey (1991) for diagnostic characters. As with other members of the group it is essential to keep voucher specimens; it is often misidentified and any found in atypical habitat and not identified with reference to Harvey (op. cit.) are likely to be misidentifications.

    Habitat

    The spider is typically found on mature oak trees in open situations, in wood pasture, at the edge of woodland rides or in old hedgerows, but it has also sometimes been beaten from other trees such as Field Maple. There may sometimes be a particular association with oak branches where the foliage has been attacked and the leaves have a yellowish-green, reddish and curled appearance. Females have been found with their egg-sac in curled oak leaves.

    When to see it

    Adults of both sexes have been found between late May and the end of July with most records in June and early July.

    UK Status

    Not very common –the species is widespread in southern and eastern England, but there are rather few records in the south-west, Wales, northern England and central Scotland.

    VC55 Status

    Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map