Monday, February 22, 2016

21-Feb-2016 Bellevue Highlands, Washington

Site location map. Click to enlarge.
Another sampling event in the catch-as-catch-can category, this time in the Highlands area of Bellevue.  Although I usually keep my nose to the grindstone on spider collecting ventures, especially short ones like this (I had only 2 hours, less if it started raining), I couldn't resist taking the time to stop at one of the area's numerous Indian grocery stores first to stock up on snacks.  What a treat!

Cone source: Pinus nigra trees
Cone microhabitat, scales hardly open
Not far from the grocery I found my cone source: eight black pines (Pinus nigra) planted along 140th Ave NE.  These trees had been heavy cone producers, but few of the cones had more than a few scales even partially open.  I see this repeatedly in P. nigra in western Washington, where this exotic tree species is widely planted.

Tenuiphantes tenuis in my net
Preserved Erigone male
With some diligent searching, however, I managed to scrounge up 50 of these barely-opened cones, and tapped 9 spiders from them.  Immediately identifiable were female Tenuiphantes tenuis and Tachygyna vancouverana, both from the family Linyphiidae and both species I tap frequently from cones in the greater Seattle area.  The other identifiable species was another linyphiid, an Erigone male.  I'll have to wait for the specimen to cure before I can identify it to species.  I've tapped an Erigone from cones only once before: a male E. aletris last October in Lynnwood.


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