Sunday, March 15, 2015

6-Oct-2012 Wachusett Reservoir Gate 19, Massachusetts

Sample location
My penultimate Wachusett Reservoir sampling day brought me back to the south end of the reservoir.  A short walk through an oak-maple (Quercus - Acer) forest brought me to a row of eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) growing behind the arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) curtain that parallels the shore.

Sample site
The fallen cone & litter microhabitats
Tapping 50 cones I recovered 21 spiders.  Similar to the cone samples at the previous two sites, this one had a higher than average number of spiders per cone relative to my other Wachusett Reservoir sites.  Most of the specimens were juvenile phrurolithids, linyphiids and thomisids, but a female Lathys pallida (Dictynidae) and a female microspider that I've collected numerous times but haven't yet identified gave me a species count of 2.

Ladyparts of a Ceraticelus minutus
My litter sifting gear
The litter, which was composed of pine needles and deciduous tree leaves, contained quite a variety of mature linyphiid microspiders.  I counted at least 6 morphospecies.  The only one I could immediately identify was Ceraticelus minutus (Linyphiidae). Present also were mature Hahnia cinerea (Hahniidae), a male agelenid (11 mm long!) and numerous juvenile phrurolithids and thomisids.

Coral-shaped fungus
A fungus amongus
An amazing array of fungi were growing at this collecting site: puffballs, purple-capped mushrooms, coral-shaped fungus, white, flat-topped mushrooms big as my palm pushing up through the litter, and more.

First touches of fall color
This no-parking area monitored by bluebirds.

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