Friday, April 17, 2015

2-May-2011 Gilhouley Road, Hood River, Oregon

Site location
A most amazing sight awaits visitors to the small city of Hood River, Oregon.  Looking north, one sees the gleaming, rounded cap of Mount Adams.  Looking south, one sees the pointy peak of Mount Hood.  For a former flatlander like me, to be bookended by two snow-capped stratovolcanoes like that is a wonder.

A slightly more diminutive wonder awaits those in Hood River who look down: pine cone spiders.  This field day was my first and so far only time tapping ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) cones in Oregon, but it was enough to put the state on the World Map of Pine Cone Spiders.

Sample site
Cones in clearcut amid Garry oak leaves
The sample site was a working forest of ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziezii) containing scattered, shrub-sized Garry oaks (Quercus garryana).  I tapped ponderosa cones that had accumulated along the roadside as well as cones I found lying in an old clearcut.

Roadside cones illuminated by late
afternoon sun
Ebo evansae tapped from a cone
Tapping 99 ponderosa cones I collected 10 spiders from 3 species.  We were excited to find that one of these was a female Ebo evansae (Thomidisae), a species of crab spider with only one record in the Burke Museum's spider database.  But that is a database of Washington spiders.  Perhaps the species is more common in Oregon, where it has been documented in the northeastern part of the state.

Hungry ticks waiting to snag a blood meal from passing deer or a spider collector.

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