The goal of the O. praticola project has been simply to determine the distribution of this introduced crab spider in Washington state, as found in the fallen conifer cone microhabitat. But in the process of pursuing that goal, I've collected some interesting life history data on the species. In this case, adult phenology.
Before graphing the monthly occurrence of females and males in my collection, I standardized numbers of specimens of each sex I collected each month by converting them to a per 100 cones tapped basis. I did this because sampling effort -- defined here as numbers of cones tapped per month -- varied greatly from month to month (see chart, right).
|Adapted from British Arachnological Society's |
Spider Recording Scheme
Note that my phenology chart is based on preliminary data from a study not yet completed. So far, I've tapped 268 O. praticola from 1,895 conifer cones. Of those 268 O. praticola, 29 (11%) were female, 14 (5%) were male and 225 (84%) were juvenile. That's not a lot of specimens to base any conclusions on. Still, it's more data than we had a year ago, which was almost nil. I am excited to know whether the patterns in my chart will change with the addition of more data. And so, as usual, I am itching more than ever to get back out into the field.