Characteristic species of dry heathland include the bee-fly Thyridandrax
fenestratus, the sand wasps Ammophila sabulosa and A
pubescens, wood tiger beetle Cicindela sylvatica, slave-making
ant Formica sanguinea, mason wasp Eumenes coarctatus
and many others. Dry heathland on the Lower Greensand of the Weald
supports thriving populations of the hornet robberfly Asilus
crabroniformis and has produced the only modern records of the
rare hoverfly Chrysotoxum octomaculatum.
Heathland in Surrey holds nationally important populations of grayling
butterfly Hipparchia semele, a species which has declined
significantly in recent decades. Surrey contains the majority of
British sites for the heathland spider Uloborus walkenaerius
and all the known populations of lynx spider Oxyopes heterophthalmus,
found mainly in the Thames Basin.
Many invertebrates of lowland heathland are dependent upon a warm
microclimate and sheltered conditions providing ‘hot spots’. Bare
sand and peat, including banks and old quarries are particularly
important together with a good nectar supply from flowering plants.
Locally, patches of acidic grassland or ‘grassy heath’ may be extremely
important, a ground beetle Lebia cyanocephala which has recently
been rediscovered in Britain is found on one such area in Surrey.
The very rare field cricket Gryllus campestris, which once
occurred on Surrey heathland is being re-introduced by English Nature
under its Species Recovery Programme.
Mammals and reptiles
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