Priocnemis perturbator (Harris,1780)

Description and notes

One of three large species of Priocnemis with plentiful erect hair on the face and propodeum (subgenus Umbripennis). P. perturbator is often found at the flowers of Wood spurge, Euphorbia amygdaloides, in woodlands during May. Identification is given in Day (1988). Many early records for this species may be confused with those for its close relative P. susterai Haupt.


Widely distributed throughout Britain and Ireland.

Widespread in central and northern Europe and Asia eastwards to Japan (Wolf, 1972).

Status (in Britain only)

This species is not regarded as being scarce or threatened.


Most frequently associated with open woodland, but may be found in a variety of habitats, as long as they are not waterlogged.

Flight period

Univoltine; April to July.

Prey collected

Early records for the spider prey of this species are attributed to P. fuscus and may not be correctly assigned to species; however, the general comment that prey are larger species in the families Lycosidae and Gnaphosidae is likely to be correct. Females are sometimes seen on the ground, apparently searching for prey. The spider Trochosa terricola is known as a prey item (pers. obs., 2000).

Nesting biology

Little is known about this, but Priocnemis species generally use existing cavities within which they may excavate several cells (Day, 1988).

Flowers visited

Most often found at wood spurge, but also known to visit blackthorn, dandelion, hawthorn and willow.

Author of profile

M. Edwards.

Year profile last updated