|scientific name Pelegrina montana |
A mountain species, found on birch, poplar and other deciduous trees preferably near streams. (Maddison, 1996)
Months of June to August (MCZBASE).
All species of Pelegrina are easily distinguished from relatives by the male embolus, which have two rami placed retrolaterally to the opening. The embolus is further differentiated in P. montana by small denticles on its anterior surface. On average, P. montana is larger and of a darker colouration than related species. On males, the side band and forehead band common to all Pelegrina are a faded white and the cheek band is either weakly present or completely absent. The clypeus is brown, with dark setae overhanging the chelicerae. The white marks on the dorsal portion of the abdomen are absent except on the latter half, where they are reduced, forming thin, pale bars. Females possess the characteristic thickened epygynal flaps present in all Pelegrina. A prominent diagnostic characteristic is these flaps' short length and convex shape. The first curve of the duct is narrow, and the second curve follows obliquely. Immediately behind the flaps is a prominent ridge shaped like a rounded rectangle. The carapace of the spider is dark, but covered in sparse, white hairs. These white scales are found in higher density on the clypeus. The abdomen is dark brown with small pairs of white spots (Maddison, 1996). Males: avg. body length 4.6 mm, carapace length 2.1 mm; females: avg. body length 5.9-6.9 mm, carapace length 2.5 mm (Maddison, 1996).
Pelegrina montana is not well studied with regards to its life history, but extrapolations can be made based on the behaviours and life histories of closely related species. The species is presumed to overwinter as a juvenile. Based on peak collection times for this species, it can be guessed that adults reach sexual maturity later than related species, developing in June and July for males and females respectively (MCZBASE). Mating is initiated by males in the form of a species-specific visual display or "dance". The mating dance of males is consistent with other species of Pelegrina, in that the forelegs are held forward and in front of the male at a height lower than the body. A raised and spread posture can only be seen in males when the female has been located at some distance, and upon approaching will resume the characteristic low-forward stance. Mating typically lasts about 15 minutes. Egg sacs are oval in shape and can vary greatly in size. Nests are constructed for the egg sac, which the female will guard until they hatch (Maddison, 1996). Salticids generally are ambush predators who rely on eyesight to locate prey. Once a prey item is accepted, the spider will jump onto it and subdue it with a venomous bite. Silk is restricted to use as a tether and for construction of nests and egg sacs and not used for web building.
No conservation data could be found on the species, though itís vast range and relative ease of collection puts it at low perceived risk.
Information on diet is not known from the literature. Based on the diets of similar species, it can be assumed that P. montana is a generalist predator.
Their range closely matches the east border of the Rocky mountains, with some small populations in northeastern United States, Newfoundland and Quebec (Maddison, 1996).
Sources differ on the most effective means of collection and which host plant is most exploited by the species. Sweep netting through streamside foliage is recommended (Maddison, 1996).
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