"The Western North American Naturalist (WNAN) is pleased to announce the award for the outstanding natural history paper of 2014. This annual award was instituted to celebrate our authors' achievements in creative and meaningful research, insightful interpretation, and articulate writing. Finalists were selected from the 41 regular articles published in Volume 74, and the WNAN Editorial Board members selected the outstanding paper and honorable mention papers by vote."
Monday, November 30, 2015
The paper that Rod Crawford and I co-wrote, "A survey of spiders found in fallen pine cones in eastern Washington State", has received honorable mention in Western North American Naturalist's ranking of outstanding natural history papers for 2014.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
|Site location. Click to enlarge.|
|Douglas-fir & juniper on Fidalgo Head|
|Looking across Burrows Bay towards |
Sugarloaf (left) and Mt Erie (right)
|Future fallen cone microhabitat:|
Douglas-fir cones still on tree
|Fallen Douglas-fir cones were often|
near deer scat at this site.
As dusk loomed, I searched webs on a boulder while Rod finished sifting moss. A couple hiking past asked if I was collecting moths, and was I a biologist. They were interested to learn that I was looking for spiders, asked to see some, and said they were excited to get back to camp and tell their kids that they'd met a real biologist on the trail. Now that made my day!
Read Rod's trip narrative here and view his photo album here.
|Spider collectors cast long shadows!|
|Sunset over the San Juan Islands|
Sunday, November 22, 2015
|Site map. Click to enlarge.|
|Lugubrious sample site|
|The fallen pine cone microhabitat|
|O. praticola tapped from fallen pine|
cones in Federal Way, Washington
|Mount Rainier was radiant in the distance|
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
|Pseudeuophrys lanigera tapped from|
fallen pine cones in Mukilteo,
Washington, USA on 8-OCT-2015
|Photo of male showing left palp|
|Location of Mukilteo, Washington|
Update (25-Jan-2018): You can read our subsequent paper about P. lanigera in Washington state here or here.
|Fallen cones containing P. lanigera |
were lying in an industrial yard.
Monday, November 16, 2015
|Site location (click to enlarge)|
|Most of the fallen cone microhabitat|
was on the railroad side of the fence
|A lovely setting for cone tapping|
|O. praticola juveniles tapped from cones|
in Yangzhou Park in Kent, Washington
|I returned to the safe side of the fence before each train roared by.|
Friday, November 13, 2015
|Known distribution of Ozyptila praticola |
in Washington (so far)
I returned to my previous sampling location in Issaquah, knowing that there were some untapped cones there dropped by "weeping" white pines (probably Pinus monticola 'Pendula'). This being late autumn, and judging from my recent experiences, I knew the likelihood of finding an adult Ozyptila praticola in any particular cone was not high. But I also knew that the likelihood would increase with each cone I tapped.
|My cone source was three ornamental|
|Fallen cones on shrubs, needle litter|
Weather may force me to suspend further eastward sampling until spring. Until then, I will probably refocus my search southward, towards Tacoma.
|The star of the show, a female Ozyptila praticola from Issaquah, WA|
Thursday, November 12, 2015
|Site location map. Click to enlarge.|
|Huge pine tree in tiny park|
|Cones and needles accumulated |
|Female Cryptachaea blattea tapped |
from pine cone
|What a stately pine|
UPDATE [19-Aug-2017]: I again tapped fallen western white pine cones in DeYoung Park. Thirty-nine tapped cones produced 64 spiders, including a female O. praticola. This sample confirms the presence of O. praticola at this location.
|A sprig of Spiraea still in bloom!|
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
|Sample site locations. Click to enlarge.|
27 Oct: Southeast Lake Sammamish
|SE Lake Sammamish sampling site|
|Fallen P. monticola cone in |
salal (Gaultheria shallon)
|Microneta viaria epigynum|
28 Oct: Issaquah
|Issaquah sampling site|
|Fallen P. nigra cones under |
Black pine (P. nigra) trees planted in front of a local business provided me with 45 tappable cones and 14 spiders. Half of them were Ozyptila, but they were all juveniles, and all praticola in appearance. The day before, I had thought that there was nothing more annoying than finding one juvenile Ozyptila probably-praticola, but I was wrong. It was much more annoying to find seven of them!
|A flock of cackling geese (Branta hutchinsii) in flight over Lake Sammamish|