Thursday, May 26, 2016

25-May-2016 Enumclaw, Black Diamond & North Bend, Washington

Site location map. Click to enlarge.
Blue = O. praticola found
Red = O. praticola not found
Having recently found the introduced crab spider Ozyptila praticola (Thomisidae) in Auburn, Sumner and Snoqualmie I decided to press further eastward from those locations by taking samples in Enumclaw, Black Diamond, and North Bend.


Enumclaw cone source: Scots pines
As is so often the case, I was easily able to find cones to tap in the town's strip mall section.  A row of Scots pines (Pinus slyvestris) planted between a parking lot and a driveway had dropped hundreds of cones.  This site also featured some native vegetation in the understory and a thick, intact litter layer.  The latter was due no doubt to the fact that the business on this property was closed, so groundskeepers hadn't recently been "cleaning up" (a.k.a. destroying) the habitat.

Enumclaw cones and salal
(Gaultheria shallon)
Postpartum female O. praticola
Tapping 50 fallen cones I collected 9 spiders from 3 families.  Only one species was identifiable: Ozyptila praticola.  It was also the most numerous species present, with 1 female and 5 juveniles.

Black Diamond

Black Diamond cone source
Nice cones but almost no spiders
My excitement at seeing a ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa) growing between The Smoke House and More and Black Diamond Bakery was quashed when I saw that all fallen cones and litter had been removed from beneath it.  Ah well, can't win 'em all.  So I settled for tapping Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) cones down the block.  There were lots of cones but I only found 1 spider in the 50 that I tapped, a juvenile Tegenaria.  I did enjoy friendly conversations with a women who was walking her dogs and another woman who was a cyclist.  What Black Diamond lacked in cone spiders it made up for in friendliness.  Too bad I had already eaten lunch by the time I got there, because I bet those businesses had a lot to offer too.  Sure smelled good on Railroad Ave.!

I had intended on tapping cones in Hobart before driving across Tiger Mountain to get to North Bend, but I wasn't able to find a good deposit in this little hamlet.  The best cones I could find were under the grove of Douglas-firs at Johnny Lazor Ball Field, and they'd been heavily trampled.  I did tap a pair of mature dictynids from the few cones that had escaped trampling by rolling up against a cyclone fence, but it wasn't enough to count as a full sample in my Ozyptila project.  So on to North Bend!

North Bend

North Bend cone source
The scales on many cones were
barely open
In contrast to my difficulty in finding cones in Hobart, North Bend offered a huge cache of black pine (Pinus nigra) cones right on North Bend Way, the city's main east-west thoroughfare.  Similar to the situation in Enumclaw, the litter and cones under the tree in North Bend had probably been allowed to accumulate because the tree was in front of a vacant building site.  I suppose that after the planned new building goes up, most of the cones I sampled will be removed to make the parking area nice for customers.

Many fallen cones were closed, but with some searching I was able to find and tap 50 open or semi-open cones.  I collected 6 spiders, one of them being a female O. praticola.  The only other identifiable species present was the very common Tenuiphantes tenuis.

The sidewalk along Railroad Ave. in Black Diamond
was colored and textured to look like wood.

No comments:

Post a Comment