Monday, March 2, 2015

30-Jul-2012 Wachusett Reservoir Gate 28, Massachusetts

Site location
This day's random search for fallen pine cones brought me past the Lily Ponds (and a rather large garter snake!) to a meadow at the back of a small, unnamed bay.  The dazzling array of dew-bejeweled plants and cruising dragonflies brought out the shutterbug in me, and I must admit that it was hard not to drop my net and spend the day clicking away.

A not-subtle reminder of my purpose
Woozy view of the forest canopy
As it happened, a nearby row of towering eastern white pines (Pinus strobus) reminded me of my mission.  Leaving the sunshine behind, I dove into the twilight of a rich forest of pine, white oak (Quercus alba) and red maple (Acer rubrum) trees.  And spiders. Tapping 55 cones got me 21 spiders, including a female Xysticus fraternus (Thomisidae) and 7 juvenile thomisids, numerous juvenile Phrurotimpus sp. and a variety of microspiders.

Cones and mixed litter
Neoantistea radula
A load of needle litter, which was rich in oak and maple leaves, produced 29 spiders and 6 species.  Among them, finally, was a female from the family Hahniidae.  I'd been getting juvenile hahniids here and there since May, but until now never an adult.  In this case, she was a Neoantistea radula.

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