Monday, October 5, 2015

4-Oct-2015 Brant Lake, New York

Site location. Click to enlarge.
Yes, I arrived at my nephew's wedding last weekend with my spider net.  Because what better way to honor him and his new spouse than by advancing pine cone spider science at their wedding venue?  The towering eastern white pines (Pinus strobus) growing at Jimbo's Club At The Point in the beautiful Adirondack region of New York are one of the features that makes the location so picturesque.  And as I confirmed the day after the wedding, their fallen cones are a microhabitat for spiders.

Lots of fallen cones around the cabins
Fallen P. strobus cones
We had to be packed and away by 11 am, so while others lingered over breakfast conversation, I zipped outside early for a round of morning cone tapping.  The morning was a brisk 50 F at most, but the sun was pleasantly warming, the lake was glittering, and woodpeckers, chickadees, and some very vocal red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) provided a pleasant audioscape.

Erigonine male, only about 1mm long
I tapped 50 cones and got 10 spiders and 2 species as well as one harvestman.  I was able to easily identify the two female Ozyptila praticola (Thomisidae) spiders in my sample since I find them regularly in fallen pine cones here in Seattle, Washington.  The identity of the second species remains to be determined, but is a male linyphiid from the Erigoninae subfamily (right).  The rest of the spiders were juveniles from the families Dictynidae, Linyphiidae (different species from the mature specimen), Philodromidae, and Theridiidae.  I don't find philodromines very frequently in fallen cones, but aside from that this seemed a very typical cone sample.

The state of New York is now on the World Map Of Pine Cone Spiders.

Red maple (Acer rubrum) leaves were transitioning from green to scarlet.

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