Update: Pinecone Spiders

Summer spidering season is well underway, and I’m no longer turning over pinecones in search of spiders. But I just stumbled across this 2016 blog post by Rod Crawford (of Seattle, WA’s Burke Museum) about Laurel Ramseyer’s research! Since 2008 she’s been sampling fallen pinecones for spiders—apparently a niche unexplored till now. This turned up the first record of the jumping spider Pseudoeuophrys lanigera in North America and has also proved useful for tracking the range of the crab spider Ozyptila praticola.

In 2015, Ramseyer and Crawford wrote a paper summarizing their findings about the pinecone-dwelling spiders of Washington State. A lot of mesh-web weavers (family Dictynidae), ground spiders (Gnaphosidae), sheet-web weavers and dwarf spiders (Linyphiidae), and cobweb spiders (Theridiidae). A lot different from all the running crab spiders (Philodromus) in my lakeside pinecones. They also mention finding a lot of Euryopis, a spider I’ve failed to find at all in my area despite seeing their distinctive tufty egg sacs all the time. Maybe that’s where I should be looking.

Time to do some reading and up my pinecone game…

Arachnews: May 3, 2021

Well, I’m back. Much like a tarantula, I felt the need to seal myself into a burrow for several months on end for no particular reason. This isn’t even close to covering the backlog. But here is a sprinkling of arachnid-related art, news, and science from the last several months, including:

  • VR spiderweb sound art
  • slingshot spiders and harvesters on treadmills
  • new species with nerdy and musical names
  • upcoming arachnology conferences
  • and more…

Read more on Medium.

Arachnews: September 30, 2020

I’M BACK, BITCHES. In the latest roundup of all things spider, scorpion, harvester, mite, and more:

  • arachnologists on livestreams and podcasts
  • #PruittData retractions and other developments
  • research on venom, silk, agriculture, ecology, and more
  • new species from around the world
  • …and more!

Read it on Medium.

Arachnews: May 31, 2020

We’re back, baby. In the latest roundup of arachnid news, media, and science:

  • arachnological organizations’ statements on #BlackLivesMatter
  • arachnologists on livestreams
  • research on extreme sexual dimorphism, spider collecting techniques, and tailless whipscorpion senses
  • new species from around the world
  • and much more…

Read it on Medium.

Arachnews: May 12, 2020

Arachnews is back after a short depression-hiatus! In this week’s roundup of arachnid-related art, news, and science:

  • new drugs derived from spider and scorpion venom
  • some intriguing spider observations on social media
  • an update on that viral tarantula tea party photo
  • how “natural” pesticides affect arachnids
  • new species
    …and more!

Read it on Medium.