|scientific name Pelegrina flavipes |
Found exclusively on conifers. (Maddison, 1996).
Found most commonly in the months of May and June. Can be found as late as August (Kanston, 1996).
All species of Pelegrina are easily distinguished from relatives by the male embolus which have two rami placed retrolaterally to the opening. This characteristic is more easily seen in P. flavipes than in any other Pelegrina species, whose ridge between these rami is the deepest. In addition, the retrolateral ramiís relative thickness is diagnostic. Males of the species sport strong and well-defined cheek bands above the side line of the head, 3 white spots above the large anterior eyes, and a small black spot on top of each of the chelicerae. Setae of two different colours overhang the chelicerae: white on the medial portion and brown on the lateral portion. Legs, chelicerae and carapace are yellow. Unlike many species of salticids, the head is not particularly bulbous or wide. Females are much more difficult to distinguish, but their best diagnostic character is their overall brassy sheen, the product of transparent scales covering the spiderís body. Beige spots can be seen above and between the anterior median eyes. The clypeus is densely covered in white scales. Also, the fourth pair of white spots on the abdomen have come together to form a chevron. On the ventral portion, the epygynum has two thickened flaps, a characteristic trait of all Pelegrina. In P. flavipes the flaps are flat and lie parallel to each other with the first curve of the duct broad while the second curve is narrow (Maddison, 1996). Males: avg. body length 3.7 mm, carapace length 1.9 mm; females: avg. body length 4.7 mm, carapace length 1.8 mm (Maddison, 1996).
The species follows a reasonably typical schedule of maturation for the genus Pelegrina. The juveniles emerge from egg sacs around late July, overwinter before reaching sexual maturity. Males of P. flavipes mature in April, with females reaching sexual maturity in May (Kanston, 1948). 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. Females have been found guarding nests containing dirty white coloured egg sacs in June and July. The sacs are oval, ranging from 4.5mm to 9mm in length. Fully adult forms can persist until August. Both genders are ambush predators that 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, but because of its relative abundance it is assumed to be of least concern.
Information on diet is restricted, but P. flavipes is known to be a generalist predator within its territorial niche.
A wide range, east of the Rocky mountains, north up to Great Slave Lake, as far east as Newfoundland. Not commonly found in prairies or the Canadian Shield. (Maddison, 1996)
The name of the species epithet has been shortened to the singular Pelegrina flavipes, instead of the plural flavipedes. This change took place in 2005 in agreement with ICZN rules. Pelegina flavipes is found most easily by sweep netting on coniferous trees and underbrush, though beating is also reasonably effective.
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