Saturday, April 18, 2015

18-May-2011 Wenas Valley, Washington

Site location
Rod Crawford and I were finally able to join forces again, and also had the pleasure of Jerry Austin's company on this trip.  After a productive first stop at Lady Bug Canyon to help Rod round out a partial sample taken there decades earlier, we proceeded into the higher elevations of Wenas Valley until we found some accessible ponderosa pines (Pinus ponderosa).

Sample site
Fallen cone microhabitat
The roadside pines here had dropped so many cones that before I knew it I'd tapped 111 of them.  I collected 28 spiders and 5 species, including a male specimen of a very rare, undescribed jumping spider from the genus Habronattus (Salticidae), found only once previously in Washington.  Present also was another state rarity, Meioneta cf. delphina (Linyphiidae).  In contrast to these rarities, the "pine cone spider" Euryopis formosa (Theridiidae) made up a full half of the sample. 

The beautiful (and prickly) ponderosa pine cone

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