Tuesday, November 17, 2015

First Record of Pseudeuophrys lanigera (Salticidae) in North America

Pseudeuophrys lanigera tapped from
fallen pine cones in Mukilteo,
Washington, USA on 8-OCT-2015
Early in October 2015 I tapped several salticids, including one male, from 100 fallen Pinus monticola cones I found in a light industrial area of Mukilteo, Washington.  Rod Crawford has identified the male as Pseudeuophrys lanigera, a species endemic to Europe and found as far east as the Caucasus and as far north as Scotland and Denmark.  As far as we can ascertain, this constitutes the first record of the species in North America.

Photo of male showing left palp
In Europe, the species is frequently synanthropic, often found in and on buildings.  In contrast, I collected my specimens from pine cones that were lying on the ground over 100 feet from the nearest building.  The area between my collection site and nearby buildings was paved with asphalt or other impervious materials.  The only structures immediately bordering my collection area were the trunk of the pine tree, stacks of wooden pallets and other industrial debris, and a cyclone fence.  A few writers in Europe have also mentioned finding P. lanigera outdoors under stones and boards, and on tree bark.  Eugène Simon, the French entomologist who described the species in 1871, wrote that it was common in the south of France on sun-exposed rock walls and arid places.

Location of Mukilteo, Washington
More sampling will be required to determine whether my specimens represent a naturalized, self-sustaining population.  But we can say now and with certainty that pine cone tapping has once again revealed the presence of a spider species in Washington state not previously detected by more conventional methods of sampling.

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.

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