Monday, March 9, 2015

20-Aug-2012 Wachusett Reservoir Gate 8, Massachusetts

Site location
Back again to Sawyers Bluff, this time to the forest-backed cove on the northwest side.

Southward view of bluffs
My view to the south was the bluffs.  To the north I could see the sandy point that sticks out into The Narrows, a popular destination for hikers.

Northward view towards point
The forest edge, where my cones originated, was composed largely of eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) and oaks (Quercus sp.), with small amounts of aspen and birch growing on the forest edge and the beach itself.

Cone on pine needles and sand
The pine cones I tapped here were lying variously on bare sand, pebbles and cobbles, or very thin needle and leaf litter over sand. From 50 cones I collected one mature harvestman and 17 juvenile spiders from the families Dictynidae, Gnaphosidae, Hahniidae, Linyphiidae and Salticidae.

Could be a juvenile Cesonia bilineata
Cone with spider egg sacs
Since all of my spider specimes were juveniles, I couldn't confidently identify any of them to species.  However, I did tentatively identify four specimens as Cesonia bilineata (Gnaphosidae), based on description of their eye arrangement and unique coloration by Kaston (1981)Platnick and Dondale (1992) reported that the species has been collected on sand dunes as well other habitats, so that also tracks.

I didn't sample litter at this site since there was hardly a handful present.

Nice view

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