Winter Spiders

The arrival of winter certainly makes it a little more difficult to find spiders, particularly on those cold January days. Many of our common spiders settle into the leaf litter or hide behind the loose bark of a tree. But spiders can be active during the winter and I have found them crawling around on top of the snow on warmer, sunnier days.

Our homes continue to provide a temperate climate and many spiders can be found indoors during the winter. This may include the cellar spiders in the genus Pholcus that hang in webs near the ceiling in our basements, cobweb spiders like Steatoda triangulosa that can be found in the corners of rooms, and Tegenaria domestica which spins a funnel-shaped retreat back into the cracks or under that workshop bench. I've also found Asian Wall Jumpers hunting in the windows of my sunny office in February. Other species just seem to wander in when it gets cold: Herpyllus ecclesiasticus, Arctosa rubicunda, and Cheiracanthium mildei to name a few.

My winter challenge for the members of this project is to take a closer look at the spider fauna in your homes, your places of work, your churches, or other buildings and post those pictures here. When you visit family at Christmas in the outlying areas of the state, ask for a tour of the house and watch those corners!

Pholcus manueli and Pholcus phalangioides in particular have only been recorded in 13 counties each. There are even missing records from the Twin Cities. Find them and I'll list the new county records below.

Pholcus manueli :

Pholcus phalangioides : Stevens

Posted by cheins1 cheins1, December 05, 2019 15:52

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