|Ozyptila praticola collection sites in Washington|
Since then, Rod Crawford and others, including myself (here and here), have collected the species from several localities in northern Seattle (red pins, right). So the species appears to be well established in the city, but how widely it has disbursed into the state, assuming that Seattle was the point of introduction, is still an open question. It was found in several locations near Vancouver, British Columbia in 2009 (Bennett et al., 2014), but its present status there is unknown.
To get a clearer picture of O. praticola's local distribution, I've started tapping pine cones both to the north and to the south of the spider's known locations in Seattle. What follows are descriptions of my first two such forays (see green pins on map).
24-Sept-2015 Beer Sheva Park, Seattle, Washington
|Beer Sheva Park cone site|
|Fallen cones on needle litter|
Tapping 100 cones I collected 30 spiders and 12 harvestmen. Ozyptila praticola was the only identifiable species in the sample and was represented by 1 female, 1 male and 15 juveniles. It was my impression that they were present only in cones lying on needle litter, but not in cones lying on grass.
As I was returning to my car, a woman walking by asked me about my net. Upon hearing my explanation, she cheerfully introduced herself and asked me to tell the group she was with what I was doing. As it turned out, this was a group from a nearby addiction recovery center, out to get some fresh air and enjoy a bit of nature (the park borders on Lake Washington). They were quite interested to see my specimens, and asked thoughtful questions. It was a pleasant way to end my morning.
30-Sept-2015 Lake Forest Park, Washington
|Lake Forest Park cone site|
|Fallen cones on soil and litter|
From 50 tapped cones I collected an astounding 70 spiders and 42 harvestmen. Ozyptila praticola was the most numerous spider species, with 3 females, 1 male and 23 juveniles present. Enoplognatha sp. (Theridiidae) was the second most numerous spider, with 16 juveniles. At least some of those many harvestmen were Paroligolophus agrestis. In other words, these cones were teeming with introduced species.
|Spider in its prey capture web in cone|
|Three introduced species in one view|
|Terminal bud and immature seed cone from Pinus nigra tree, Beer Sheva Park|