|scientific name Pardosa furcifera |
Alpine tundra, coniferous forest, and underbrush near timberlines.
Restricted. Females found from June - August, males found June – July. Egg sacs produced in July.
Male: Total length 7-9 mm. Cephalothorax reddish brown, with a bifurcated yellowish stripe down the center, as well as two lateral stripes of a similar color. Abdomen dark brown, with a short stripe anteriorly (heart mark) and a reddish brown venter. Cymbium dark, with prominent palea. Palea has oblique sclerotized channel. Embolus is fairly long and thin and only slightly curved. Median apophysis has two processes, at its tip and base. Terminal apophysis with two blunt processes at its tip.
Female: Patterned similarly to male. Epigynum with shallow paired hood cavities. Paired dorsal excavations show through median septum to create rectangular area at its posterior. Spermathecae shaped like clubs, have some small nodules.
Pardosa furcifera is a relatively uncommon species. Like all wolf spiders, it is a cursorial predator. Individuals wait patiently (often basking in sunlit areas) for prey to draw near, at which point its location is acquired with relatively acute vision (primarily the large anterior median eyes). Pursuit is generally extremely swift, and the hapless prey is dispatched with a pair of powerful chelicerae - more powerful proportionately than those of an average web-building spider, since it has no other means of restraining its prey. Pardosa furcifera and some other wolf spiders from the genus Pardosa apparently require two seasons to reach full maturity . Overwintering occurs in the juvenile stage. Maturity is generally reached fairly early in the active season, to maximize the chances of mating. Mating may last for an hour or so, and cannibalism is relatively rare (perhaps due to the relative similarity in size between male and female). Egg sacs are generally produced between June and August, and are carried by the female until juveniles emerge. The egg sacs themselves are constructed in two halves, is generally shaped like a partially flattened sphere, and are typically bluish or greenish in color. Typically, the juveniles are assisted in their emergence by the female, who tears a hole in the egg sac with her fangs when the juveniles are sufficiently developed. The juveniles are then carried on the female's abdomen for up to two weeks, after which they disperse.
Some Pardosa species are known to feed in surprisingly cold conditions, even preying on collembolans crawling on the surface of snow - given its choice of habitat, P. furcifera is likely capable of the same.
Unknown. Population likely closely tied to forest conditions.
Ambush predator of a wide variety of terrestrial arthropods.
Specimens collected throughout Alaska and northern Canada. Old records exist from Greenland.
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