Wednesday, April 5, 2017

2-Apr-2017 Lakewood and University Place, Washington

Site location map. Click to enlarge.
Sunshine and the promise of temps in the low 50s were the siren songs that brought me to the west side of the greater Tacoma conurbation. I was not disappointed.  In addition to the great weather, I found enough open cones at each site to take 100-cone samples.  A welcome combination!


Lakewood cone sources: black pines
(background), Scots pine (foreground)
Fallen black pine cone
I took my first two samples at Clover Park Technical College.  The planting strip along Steilacoom Blvd. was dominated by black pines (Pinus nigra) with a nice accumulation of needle litter and cones beneath.

Fallen Scots pine cones
An adjacent planting area featured several Scots pines (P. sylvestris), also with ample litter and cones beneath.

I tapped 100 fallen black pine cones and collected 13 spiders from 4 families, but Tachygyna ursina (Linyphiidae) was the only identifiable species. Next, I tapped 100 fallen Scots pine cones and collected just six tiny juvenile arachnids: 2 harvestmen and 4 Enoplognatha probably-ovata (Theridiidae).  Lots of cones tapped, but not much to show for it.  But I did enjoy the sunshine and the serenading of a white-crowned sparrow the whole while.

University Place

University Place cone source
Hundreds of western white pine cones
scattered between the trees
My final sampling site for the day was a small, boarded up building on Bridgeport Way with two massive western white pines (P. monticola) growing in front. Needle litter and hundreds of cones had accumulated beneath the trees on what was previously a gravel driveway and grassy yard.

Tapping 100 fallen cones I collected 34 spiders from 6 families.  Five species were identifiable: Tachygyna ursina and T. vancouverana, Xysticus cristatus (Thomisidae), Cryptachaea blattea (Theridiidae) and Tenuiphantes tenuis (Linyphiidae).  Six Philodromus sp. and nine Enoplognatha probably-thoracica were the most common juveniles in the sample.  All in all, it was a very typical urban sample from this part of the state.

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