Thursday, April 2, 2015

The First Spiders of the Year

A bit of snow and ice doesn't seem to discourage this young female Dolomedes striatus from getting off to an early start on the season. About 10 mm in length, if she survives long enough she will double her size, attaining a length of 20 mm or a bit more. The clearly defined bands on the abdomen and distinctly striped femora distinguish this Fishing Spider from its relatives.

A female Shore Spider (Pardosa milvina) was also active nearby, hunting for any insects bold or hardy enough to venture forth. The spiders were encountered along the shoreline of a marsh, the ambient temperature was a seasonable 15°C.

They haven't topped the record this tiny Long-jawed Orbweaver (Tetragnatha sp) moving around on the snow on January 13th, with the thermometer hovering around 5°C.