Micro-Habitat Experiment

Over the winter, I left a Christmas wreath on the grass of a residential property. On March 11th, I began to shake and strike the wreath to see what creatures have made it their home.

My first couple of attempts yielded lots of spiders. There were probably 30 or so spiders that dropped out of it when I struck the wreath against the pavement twice. The yield was mostly immature wolf spiders, though I did record a thickjawed orbweaver (Pachygnatha tristriata) and a spider in the genus Erigone. The thickjawed orbweaver was a very exciting find, my first ever. Other than the spiders, there were a few millipedes.

Periodically, I checked the wreath between March 19th to March 27th. Subsequent attempts to dislodge creatures from the wreath yielded nothing but a small handful of immature wolf spiders. And then the flies have seemed to make their presence known. I found a Fungus Gnat (Mycetophilidae), a Dung Fly (Limosininae), and a fly within the super family Muscoidea. I also found a non-insect hexapod, a springtail within the genus Entomobryomorpha.

Overall, I've found it an interesting and simple way to survey invertebrates. It helped me to find creatures from one class, two families, one subfamily, and one genus that I have never found before. I would like to try it again, perhaps later in the year. I'm disappointed that more spiders didn't colonize the wreath after the initial couple surveys. However, it is still early in the year and in general the species variety is not yet that great on the property in general (mainly just immature wolf spiders and I found the first jumping spider this weekend).

Posted by marknenadov marknenadov, March 28, 2016 05:02 PM

Observations

Photos / Sounds

Observer

marknenadov

Date

March 11, 2016

Description

Found by beating at old Christmas wreath that was laying on the ground at a residential property.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

marknenadov

Date

March 12, 2016

Description

Shaken from a old Christmas wreath that was laying on the grass on a residential property.

Photos / Sounds

What

Millipedes Class Diplopoda

Observer

marknenadov

Date

March 12, 2016

Description

Shaken from a old Christmas wreath laying on the ground on a residential property. Just under 15mm.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Wolf Spiders Family Lycosidae

Observer

marknenadov

Date

March 19, 2016

Description

Immature. Shaken out from a old Christmas wreath sitting on a residential yard.

Photos / Sounds

What

Fungus Gnats Family Mycetophilidae

Observer

marknenadov

Date

March 23, 2016

Description

Shaken from a Christmas wreath laying in the grass on a residential lot.

Photos / Sounds

What

Wolf Spiders Family Lycosidae

Observer

marknenadov

Date

March 25, 2016

Description

Immature specimen shaken from a Christmas wreath that was laying on the grass in a residential lot. Notches on the ruler are 1mm.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

marknenadov

Date

March 25, 2016

Description

Shaken from a Christmas wreath sitting on grass at a residential lot.

Photos / Sounds

What

Calyptrate Flies Zoosubsection Calyptratae

Observer

marknenadov

Date

March 27, 2016

Description

Shaken from a Christmas wreath laying on grass on a residential lot. 5 mm x 5 mm

Photos / Sounds

What

Elongate-bodied Springtails Order Entomobryomorpha

Observer

marknenadov

Date

March 27, 2016

Description

About 0.5mm? Appeared on microscopy surface after examined a wolf spider shaken from a Christmas wreath that was sitting on the grass at a residential property.

Comments

Thumb

There's a guy who has a blog entirely devoted to picking up pinecones and knocking them against something hard to dislodge the residents. Then he collects and identifies the critters. I think he eventually turned it into a paper.

Posted by colinpurrington about 1 year ago (Flag)

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